B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, along with Opposition Health Critic Norm Letnick and Opposition Critic for Seniors Care Linda Reid, on Wednesday called on Premier John Horgan and the NDP government to take steps to improve supports for seniors and staff in Long Term Care (LTC), home care and assisted living facilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on several gaps that exist in our senior care support services,” said Wilkinson. “Our seniors have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and, tragically, represent many of the deaths our province has experienced. B.C. families who have had to endure the heartbreak of losing their loved ones want to see more action from this government to fill the gaps in our senior care services.”
In a letter to the Premier, Wilkinson has recommended a series of actions from the government, which include:
* Launching a thorough independent review of LTC in British Columbia to clearly define where our LTC system has performed well, and where it has failed.
* Creating a comprehensive resource strategy to meet the growing demand for staffing in seniors’ care and providing support for residents and staff incurring the costs of implementing COVID-19 health and safety measures in senior care facilities.
* Establishing a timeline and resources strategy that will allow families to visit their loved ones in senior care while adhering to the appropriate physical distancing measures.
“Our recommended actions come from close consultation with care provider associations, staff who operate LTC, home care, and assisted living facilities, as well as from seniors themselves,” added Letnick. “These are the individuals who have been on the front line of our fight against COVID-19 and know firsthand where this government needs to do better.”
“Our seniors helped build this province and have granted us the quality of life we enjoy here in B.C today,” said Reid. “We all want to see government work to provide our seniors with the best possible care. This government has an obligation to meet the growing demand for these supports and services so we can give back to those we owe so much to and now is the time to take action.”