AT its annual general meeting in December, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC members passed several special resolutions focused on supporting a safe and sustainable senior living and care sector.
Motions concentrated on increasing capacity, ensuring adequate and appropriate staffing, improving wildfire preparedness, and providing civil liability protection for seniors’ care providers.
“The seniors living, and care sector continues to face challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have all learned from this unprecedented experience, we must ensure that seniors can rely on a continuing care sector which offers the right care, delivered by the right people, at the right time,” said BCCPA CEO, Terry Lake, on Tuesday.
“The motions passed at our AGM speak to the sustainability of seniors care, both in the near and longer term,” he said.
A summary of the policy motions that received approval from BCCPA’s membership:
- Expanding access and capacity in B.C.’s long-term care sector: BCCPA recommends that a minimum of $1.6 billion be earmarked over three years to fund the construction and operation of 5,000 new long-term care beds across the province by 2027.
- Developing a Health Human Resource Strategy: BCCPA urges the Government of British Columbia to work collaboratively with the seniors’ care and living sector to develop a robust Health Human Resource Strategy to address chronic labour shortages—in particular for nurses and care aides—by improving access to training opportunities, increasing awareness of the quality careers in care, streamlining credential recognition, and promoting worker safety and retention.
- Addressing staffing levels and care hours in long-term care: BCCPA urges that the Government of British Columbia establish a minimum of four hours of care per day for each resident in long-term care, up until such a time that the most appropriate staffing levels and workforce mix can be determined based on resident acuity and case mix.
- Implementing civil liability protection for B.C.’s seniors’ care and living sector: BCCPA recommends that the Government of British Columbia adopt new legislation similar to Ontario’s Bill 218 or Alberta’s Bill 70 COVID-19 Related Measures Act in order to offer protection from civil liability for workers, volunteers and organizations in the seniors’ care and living sector – including long term care, assisted living, independent living and home health care operators – that have made and are making an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and COVID-19-related law.
- Improving wildfire preparedness for B.C.’s seniors’ care sector: BCCPA recommends that the BC Health System Wildfire Response plan be updated, better utilized and integrated into provincial and local responses, particularly as it pertains to seniors’ care. In doing so considerations should also be made for the provision of appropriate funding and/or resources.
“The policy motions approved at the AGM aim to improve the current conditions of the seniors living and care sector, with the end goal of providing the best care for seniors. They will inform the Association’s advocacy over the next year” said Lake.