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New equipment to improve seniors’ lives and care

People living and working in long-term care homes throughout B.C. are benefiting from a $6.9-million grant to purchase new equipment that will help improve the safety and quality of life of residents.

“Dignity, comfort, and security are what people and their loved ones expect and deserve when they are in long-term care,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Government is investing in these long-term care homes by adding new and replacement items, like beds and mattresses, and ceiling lifts and sensory rooms, so people can feel comfortable in their surroundings and enjoy their home-like setting.”

The Seniors Safety and Quality Improvement Program (SSQIP) is a three-year program that is managed by the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA). BCCPA has provided funding to long-term care home operators for the purchase of new equipment.

A total of $10 million was provided over three years to 186 long-term care homes to buy over 8,000 new items: beds and mattresses, shower chairs and tubs, mobility equipment – such as floor and ceiling lifts – lighting and visual aids, sensory rooms, music therapy and ergonomic furniture. The furniture includes specialized chairs and tables.

An advisory group, which included representatives from the provincial government, BCCPA, Denominational Health Association and SafeCare BC, received applications and oversees funding allocation. Those approved received up to $500 per publicly funded bed to purchase equipment that enhances the safety and quality of life of seniors.

“Our government is committed to improving care for seniors,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “The new equipment has helped ensure that their care is provided safely — for the people who live in long-term care, the families who visit them and the staff who care for them.”

Daniel Fontaine, CEO of BCCPA, said, “We’re pleased to continue working with the Ministry of Health and other partners through this final round of SSQIP funding. The investments are aimed at creating more supportive environments for residents in long-term care and reducing injury rates among the workers who care for them.”

Long-term care provides 24-hour professional care and supervision in a protective, supportive environment for people with complex care needs, who can no longer be cared for in their own homes or in an assisted-living residence.

Government is investing more than $1 billion over three years to improve care for seniors, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care, assisted living and respite services.

The Province is also providing $240 million over three years to increase staffing levels in long-term care homes, with the goal of achieving the target 3.36 direct care hours per resident day – on average – across all health authorities by the end of 2020-21. In 2018-19, these added more than one million direct hours of care for seniors in long-term care homes throughout the province.

Learn More:

For more information on the Seniors Safety and Quality Improvement Program, visit: http://bccare.ca/programs/ssqip/

Long-term care homes receiving funding: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/backgrounder_long_term_care_homes_funding.pdf

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