The improvements we’re making to services for seniors don’t stop with the commitments made in the Action Plan. Here are some additional recent initiatives that contribute to our goals of supporting seniors’ health from prevention to end-of-life.
Below are some examples of related achievements. For a full list of achievements, please see Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan - Report on Progress (PDF).
Residential Care Rate Reinvestment Report
Following the implementation of a revised client rate structure for residential care services in 2010, government required health authorities to reinvest any additional revenues from the revised client rates to improve residential care services in BC. Changes to the residential care client rates were implemented over a two year period.
Health authorities have provided detailed reporting on their reinvestments for the two year period, which include increased residential care staffing, as well as investments in education, specialized services, and equipment. Over 2010/11 and 2011/12, health authorities reported investing a total of $85.62 million of additional revenues from the revised client rate structure. As a result of reinvestments in staffing, health authorities estimated that the direct care and allied health care worked hours per resident day increased from 2.88 HPRD in 2009/2010 to 3.06 HPRD in 2011/2012. Further, there were an estimated 1,104 more direct care or allied health care FTEs (full-time worker equivalents) across BC by the end of 2011/12. Direct care or allied health care FTEs include professional and non-professional staff such as nurses, residential care aides, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and social workers.
Guide to Community Care Facility Licensing
In March, 2012, the Ministry of Health issued The Guide To Community Care Facility Licensing In British Columbia which describes the licensing and enforcement system that governs the provision of care and supervision in British Columbia’s licensed community care facilities. This Guide provides an overview of the system and the activities that are part of the range of protections provided to vulnerable people who reside in community care facilities or children who attend child day care facilities licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (CCALA). This guide supports a consistent licensing and enforcement approach across the province to protect the health and safety of residents in licensed facilities.
Renovation Tax Credit
The BC Seniors' Home Renovation Tax Credit is a refundable personal income tax credit worth 10% of eligible expenses to assist seniors with the cost of permanent home renovations that improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home. The maximum credit is $1,000 per year.
The BC Seniors' Home Renovation Tax Credit is effective on April 1, 2012.
Age-friendly British Columbia Strategy
Through the Age-friendly British Columbia (AFBC) strategy the Province supports seniors at the community level by working with local governments and other partners to make it easier for people to age actively, live in security, enjoy good health and participate fully in society.
Through a partnership with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, over 120 local governments have received grants to support age-friendly planning and projects since 2007. Funded projects range from assessing what seniors say would make their community more age-friendly, to specific programs such as seniors’ fitness and transportation. Local governments can apply for Age-friendly B.C. Recognition when they complete engagement, commitment, assessment and action steps. Resources are available on-line or in paper to help communities get started, including Becoming an Age-friendly Community: Local Government Guide. Online videos highlight actions that B.C. communities have taken in areas such as housing, transportation, outdoor / public spaces, community support, jobs / volunteering and social participation, to help support and inspire others to create age-friendly communities.
Alcohol and Aging: Know the Facts
The ‘Alcohol and Aging: Know the Facts’ brochure and web-based messaging was developed in response to a report by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC: ‘Leading and Promising Practices for Addressing Harm from Tobacco and Alcohol Use Among Seniors (65+) in British Columbia.’
The ‘Alcohol and Aging: Know the Facts’ material speaks to the older adult. It explains how age-related changes affect the way alcohol is metabolized in an older body, how alcohol can make some health problems worse and how experiences associated with loss can trigger drinking in older adults. It provides information on where to go if help is needed and includes tips for lifestyle changes. If an older adult chooses to drink, the low-risk drinking guidelines recommend that gender, age, ethnicity, weight and health status be taken into consideration and that a physician or pharmacist be consulted first if they are on medication.
Chilliwack Primary Care Seniors Clinic
The Chilliwack Primary Care Seniors Clinic is a brand new clinic and the first of its kind in the region. It was developed in partnership between Fraser Health and the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice.
This innovative clinic is supported by specialists with an initial focus on dementia or multiple, complex chronic conditions in the Chilliwack community as part of the Integrated Health Network (IHN) initiative.
This clinic supports skills enhancement and practical education for the participating GPs.
For the patients, this clinic provides a comprehensive primary care geriatric assessment by GPs and an RN with specialized skills in geriatrics to address a wide range of issues including cognitive and functional issues, musculoskeletal disorders, urinary incontinence, pain, falls and mobility, multiple medications, health care planning and advance care planning. It also offers access to specialists’ services through a geriatrician and a geriatric psychiatrist (with support from mental health clinicians.)
The clinic is ultimately a collaborative interdisciplinary clinical model of providing care to clients and liaising with their family GP.
Seniors' Service Delivery Resources
Two resource documents were developed in response to identified needs within service delivery areas for seniors.
This is a resource for those in the province involved in providing care to seniors, including planners, program managers, policy makers, mental health and other health professionals. Given the rapidly growing number and proportion of people over the age of 65 in B.C., including those with mental health problems, this resource document serves an important need.
- Improving BC's Care for Persons with Dementia in Emergency Departments and Acute Care in Hospital: Findings and Recommendations (2011) (PDF)
A related document designed for Health Authorities to address services in this area.
New Advanced Certificate in Community Care Licensing
In October 2013, the Justice Institute of BC is launching a new online “Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing” credential that covers the knowledge and competencies required by Community Care Licensing Officers (CCLOs). This new credential is first in Canada to address educational needs of CCLOs.
CCLOs are employed by provincial health authorities to inspect and monitor private and public facilities for child care, youth residential care, residential group care and long-term care in BC. They also conduct investigations, provide education and support to licensees and take action to bring facilities into compliance with the Acts and Regulations that govern them.
Community Care Licensing Officers are an important part of the health care system and play a key role in helping to ensure the health and safety of all persons in care.
Curriculum was developed in partnership with British Columbia’s Ministry of Health and provincial health authorities as well as other industry partners.