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

Just Posted

ECM atoms bring home the silver from Coquitlam tourney

The ECM Promotions atom team finished runners up in a minor hockey tournament in Coquitlam

WEB POLL: Would you like to see a new highway built between B.C. and Central Alberta?

Building another highway through the mountains would shave 95 km from Kamloops to Red Deer

World Cup skier and Penticton native, Brayden Kuroda, dies at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Okanagan rinks have mixed results as BC Seniors Curling finals begin

A total of 15 rinks are competing in Vernon for right to go to nationals in Manitoba

Penticton Vees to open first round of playoffs against West Kelowna

Penticton will come into the series as heavy favourites against the Warriors.

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival tickets now on sale

The festival takes place from Apr. 30. to May. 17.

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Most Read