There are 28,000 seniors in publicly funded residential care in B.C., with a projected need to double in the next 20 years. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

The surge of post-war baby boomers into their senior years is opening a wide gap in need for long-term care capacity, says a new report by the B.C. Care Providers Association.

The association released a report Wednesday showing 1,400 people in B.C. waiting for long-term care by March 2018, a seven per cent increase over the previous year. Three quarters of those people were living in the community, with the remainder in hospital awaiting placement.

“Our analysis of data provided by the Conference Board of Canada shows that B.C. is already short by roughly 3,000 long-term care beds,” said Daniel Fontaine, the association CEO. “Now factor in a requirement for another 1,000 to 2,000 additional spaces per year until 2035, and you can see the scale of the challenge.”

The report calculates that more than 30,000 new long-term beds are needed in B.C. over the next 20 years, staffed by 19,000 new care providers, 13,000 of them care aides to help residents who can no longer do the daily tasks of living on their own.

B.C.’s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie reported the seven-per-cent increase in those waiting for long-term care in December, in her latest survey Monitoring Senior Services. It estimated that the longest median wait time was in the Northern Health region, at 147 days, and the shortest was Vancouver Coastal Health at 14 days.

READ MORE: Province taking over seniors home care in southern B.C.

READ MORE: Seniors Advocate questions care home labour shortage

The report shows B.C. long-term care residents have a higher incidence of dementia than the national average, roughly tied with Ontario at more than 60 per cent of residents.

Two years into his mandate, Health Minister Adrian Dix has been focused on adding care aide capacity to bring senior care hours up to the provincial target of 3.36 hours per day in existing facilities. Interior Health received $5.3 million last year to increase staffing, part of a three-year plan to reach the target by 2021.

Fontaine said it is surprising that B.C. has had only one successful bid to develop new publicly funded long-term care in the past two years. The ministry announced in January it is proceeding with a 150-bed facility in Courtenay, including six hospice beds for end-of-life care, with occupancy expected by 2020.

According to the B.C. Seniors Advocate’s latest long-term care directory, B.C.’s 293 long-term care facilities have 27,028 publicly subsidized beds, with more than 18,000 beds operated by contractors funded by a regional health authority and the rest operated directly by health authorities.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

Proctor killer attended her memorial, still demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents details reasons for rejecting Kruse Wellwood parole request

‘Listen to your body:’ Vancouver Island woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Potty Mouth Vancouver Island artist creating Funky Fungus

Parksville-Qualicum’s Carmen Lutz has people chuckling with her hand-made, rustic mugs

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Hockey-puck-size injured Vancouver Island owl begins recovery

Rare western screech owl being treated at MARS near Courtenay after showing signs of a head trauma

High-traffic Victoria ATM compromised by card skimmer

VicPD suggest ‘wiggle test’ of any bank machine

Major Vancouver Island fish farmer chasing gold standard certification

Mowi says all of its Campbell River area salmon farms certified by Aquaculture Stewardship Council

New construction, housing prices down British Columbia

New housing prices dropped 0.4 per cent in Victoria in June 2019

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

Transforming communities, one tomato at a time

Victoria author Michelle Mulder’s new book focuses on sowing a new approach to urban living

Most Read