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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New goalkeeper training centre opens in Cloverdale

Nestled on Surrey-Langley border, facility offers full range of training programs

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Surrey BIAs to get cash help from city hall

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum announced this on Monday

Stayte Road housing project rejected by White Rock council in 4-3 vote

Councillors heed residents’ emphatic opposition voiced at electronic public hearing

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read