A province-wide campaign is asking government to invest $1.5 billion dollars over five years to improve access and quality of care for seniors.
CEO with B.C. Care Providers Association, Daniel Fontaine, says younger generations’ issues tend to get a lot of attention, but they aren’t the only ones struggling.
“We also have an older generation and we have our seniors, the people who’ve contributed to the economy, many of them for their entire life, who are expecting that they will receive some type of additional support and additional care. We know that three out of ten British Columbians are juggling both taking care of their kids, and also their elderly parents. They’re under a lot of stress.”
Fontaine says these include re-purposing unused care beds, hiring and training more workers, and piloting a new Care Credit program.
“…construction and the operation of 4,400 new long-term care beds across British Columbia. And it’s even bigger when you think of what you’d be able to get in terms of home care, home support. Twelve million hours of additional home care services. We’re trying to communicate to the Ministry that it is a mix of new dollars, but there’s also a lot of dollars within the current system invested in a place that’s not producing the best health outcome for seniors.”
In total, the Association’s report contains thirty recommendations as to where the money should go.
But the B.C. Hospital Employee’s Union says there are issues with the Association’s call for investment.
Secretary Business Manager Jennifer Whiteside says the Union can’t support a Care Credit program.
“Really that kind of a scheme is much more about expanding profit making opportunities for private providers than it is improving access to care for seniors,” she says.
Whiteside says the province should implement the B.C. ombudsperson’s recommendation to change the first available bed policy to make sure seniors don’t lose their place while waiting for residential care.