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Enhanced safety, quality for care-home residents

May 29, 2023 at 9:32 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Seniors living in long-term care and assisted-living homes in B.C. will benefit as the Province invests an additional $14 million in the EquipCare BC program for health, safety and quality improvements in publicly funded seniors’ long-term care (LTC) homes and assisted-living residences.

“Seniors who live in care homes deserve to feel safe and have the best quality of life possible,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “That’s why we’re continuing to make improvements to long-term care services and provide funding to EquipCare BC program for the next two years. This program has helped to protect LTC residents and the staff who care for them during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is an important initiative in enriching the lives of the most vulnerable older adults in our province.”

The funding will be provided through the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) for EquipCare BC to continue supporting publicly funded seniors’ long-term care homes and assisted-living residences. The funding will help purchase items to promote safety and enhance quality of life.

“We are thankful for the Ministry of Health’s investment in this important program,” said Terry Lake, CEO, BC Care Providers Association and EngAge BC. “The EquipCare BC fund allows publicly funded long-term care and assisted-living operators to purchase items and equipment which support safety and quality of life, ensuring vulnerable elders the best care possible.”

EquipCare BC supports eligible care homes in purchasing items, such as additional lifts, bathtubs and bathing equipment, dining furniture, specialized or transport wheelchairs, sensory equipment, urgent-response systems, medical bed mattresses, nurse-call systems, environmental cleaning equipment, air-conditioning and other temperature-control equipment.

“Supporting older adults in aging comfortably and safely is a key priority for our government,” said Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care. “This investment is another step toward improving the lives of seniors throughout B.C. It builds on our previous actions like adding more single-occupancy long-term care rooms around the province and funding supports for seniors who wish to remain in their homes as long as possible.”

Since 2020, the Province has invested a total of $32 million in EquipCare BC, in partnership with the BCCPA. Through EquipCare BC in 2022-23, 99% of eligible publicly funded long-term care homes and 77% of eligible assisted-living residences applied for grants to enhance infection prevention and control, improving quality and safety in long-term care and assisted-living homes provincewide. Through this funding in 2022-23, EquipCare BC approved 241 grant applications throughout the province.

Oversight for EquipCare BC is provided by a group of industry partners and government, including representatives from BCCPA, SafeCare BC, Denominational Health Association and the Ministry of Health. Expert advice in infection prevention and control is also provided by ministry staff.

Quotes:

Jackie Reiners, executive director, Augustine House –

“Augustine House is extremely grateful to the Government of British Columbia for providing the Equipcare grant funding to support elders in British Columbia. The process developed by BC Care Providers was very smooth, from submitting the application to receiving the actual grant. Receiving this funding allowed us to address specific needs, improving the daily life of elders who call Augustine House their home.”

Erin Beaudoin, Eden Gardens –

“EquipCare BC funding has been an incredible addition to Eden Garden’s ability to support our staff and elders. Because of this program, we were able to purchase items that otherwise do not fit into our budget. From new technology that supports us to be more efficient, so that staff have to spend with elders, to new instruments for our music therapists to facilitate therapy sessions with people, the impact is tangible and positive.”

Quick Facts:

  • EquipCare BC expands the mandate and scope of the Seniors Safety Quality Improvement Program (SSQIP), which was started in 2016-17.
  • In 2016-17, the Province provided $10 million to support SSQIP to fund safety and quality improvements to 99% of eligible long-term care operators in B.C.
  • In 2019-20, SSQIP was rebranded as EquipCare BC and expanded to include assisted living residences and infection and prevention control items for private long-term care and assisted-living sites.
  • In 2019-20, the Province provided $10 million to the BCCPA and $8 million in 2021-22 to fund and administer EquipCare BC.

Learn More:

For information about EquipCare BC and to learn more about the BC Care Providers Association, visit: www.bccare.ca

To learn more about investments in the EquipCare BC program, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0150-000915

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