Action needed to address seniors care worker shortage crisis, says BCCPA

BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) on Monday released its report titled, Situation Critical: A Made-in-BC Plan to Address the Seniors Care Labour Shortage. The report contains priority actions to address the lack of health care assistants who provide frontline seniors care.

The report combines significant research and stakeholder input from across the continuing care sector, as well as the provincial and federal government, on how to address an emerging staffing crisis in assisted living, care homes and home health care in B.C.

“The B.C. government has identified a need for hiring over 2,800 new full-time health care aides within the next five years to maintain or improve the level of seniors care across the province,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “We simply cannot be successful unless we take bold steps like the ones outlined in the Situation Critical report.”

In January, BCCPA hosted the BC Continuing Care Collaborative in partnership with the Ministry of Health, inviting 170 stakeholders to discuss the barriers and opportunities that exist when it comes to attracting more people into seniors care careers. The summary report of that day-long dialogue titled The Perfect Storm was released in April.

“To describe this as an urgent priority for B.C.’s residential care, assisted living and home health care providers would be an understatement,” adds Fontaine. “Our office regularly hears from members who are desperate to fill vacant positions with qualified workers in all corners of the province. The time for talking has ended, and action is needed today.”

The Situation Critical report outlines ten priority actions in multiple areas, including public awareness building, improved access to education and training, loan forgiveness programs, finding ways to attract high school graduates, reducing barriers for international students, and addressing wage disparities between subsector collective agreements.

Addressing the frontline care worker shortage is also one of three top national priorities identified by the Canadian Association of Long Term Care (“CALTC”).

A full copy of the report is available at