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Province aims to beef up seniors care

The province is looking to increase staffing levels in residential care homes.

To that end, 240 million dollars will be invested over three years.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health said ten years ago the province set a standard of care and said each resident should get 3 point 3-6 hours of care per day but that’s not what has been happening.

“We have care homes that are under 3, in terms of direct care hours, and we have others that are meeting the standard now. So, the average is 3 point 1-1 and we are going to add money so that we increase direct care hours. At the end of this year we’re expecting that number to be 3 point 2-4 and at the end of the three years we’re expecting it to be, on average in every health authority, at least 3 point 3-6.”

The Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie suggested, in her last report on the standard of care that just 15 per cent of facilities reached the standard.

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That meant, she said, the majority of those in care weren’t bathed, washed or treated as much as they were required.

In the Cowichan Valley in the last seniors’ advocate report, for example, Cairnsmore Place was at 3 point 2 hours of care per resident.

The province said more than 50 per cent of the care aides are working part-time or casual shifts and the new funding will see 500 of those positions converted to full-time in 2018/19 and 1,500 new full-time equivalent positions will be added in year three.

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