EQUIPCARE BC will again accept applications to enhance infection prevention and control, and improve seniors’ safety and quality of life in long-term care and assisted living homes throughout the province.
“Our seniors and Elders have and continue to face incredible challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Wednesday. “Enhancing infection prevention and control in long-term care and assisted living homes is a vital piece of keeping seniors and staff safe, from COVID-19 and other infections, and ensuring seniors experience the best quality of life possible.”
The Province is providing $8 million 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 enhance infection prevention and control and improve safety and quality of life. This may include additional outbreak carts, medical screening devices, mobile hand-hygiene sinks, touchless towel and soap dispensers, environmental cleaning products, safe-handling equipment for food, waste and laundry, lifts, beds, urgent-response systems, sensory equipment, lighting and visual aids, music therapy and ergonomic furniture.
“The EquipCare BC program has helped to protect seniors and Elders across the province during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Services and Long-Term Care. “We are committed to providing seniors long-term care homes and assisted living residences with tools to keep their residents and staff safe.”
In 2020, the Province invested $10 million to launch EquipCare BC, in partnership with the BCCPA. Through EquipCare BC, 97% of eligible publicly funded long-term care homes and 98% of eligible assisted living residences applied for grants to enhance infection prevention and control measures and to improve safety and quality of life for seniors. Through this funding, EquipCare BC approved 728 grant applications.
“With the new EquipCare BC funding now available, all eligible long-term care and assisted living providers can expect to receive funding within weeks of a completed application,” said Terry Lake, CEO, BCCPA. “This efficiently run program has had a direct benefit in improving workplace safety and quality of life for seniors in care and the staff that supports them.”
Oversight for EquipCare BC is provided by a group of industry stakeholders 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.
* EquipCare BC expands the mandate and scope of the Seniors Safety Quality Improvement Program (SSQIP).
* The Province provided $10 million to SSQIP to fund safety and quality improvements to 99% of eligible long-term care operators in B.C.
* Through the program, operators bought more than 8,000 new items, including beds and mattresses, shower chairs and tubs, mobility equipment, lighting and visual aids, sensory rooms, music therapy and ergonomic furniture.