Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the government is investing $75 million to expand respite care and adult day programs, helping both seniors and their loved ones.
Dix said yesterday at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House that many B.C. seniors count on their spouses, children and close friends to help them stay at home, and cope and manage chronic conditions. “Caregiving without adequate supports can impact the whole family, particularly a person’s ability to live at home, which is what most seniors and their loved ones want,” said Dix.
Over the next three years, the province will improve and strengthen respite services and adult day programs to support seniors and their family-and-friend caregivers. The number of respite beds will be increased, and overnight care at home will be made more accessible. In addition, the number of adult day program spaces will be increased, and the hours of operation will be expanded to provide services on evenings and weekends.
Dix said $10 million will be provided in the first year followed by $30 million and $35 million in the second and third year.
“This is exceptionally good news for family-and-friend caregivers in British Columbia, who provide over 80% of the care at home, often without support, and at great financial, physical and emotional cost,” Barb MacLean, executive director, Family Caregivers of British Columbia. “Having access to the right support, at the right time, is absolutely essential for caregivers to be able to continue to care without burning out or becoming a patient themselves.”
The government said it is estimated there are approximately one million family-and-friend caregivers in the province who help seniors with daily activities, ranging from a ride to the grocery store or a medical appointment to assistance with activities, such as housekeeping and yard work, managing finances, helping with medical treatments and providing personal care.
People interested in receiving caregiver respite or adult day services, or know of someone who might be in need of these services, can contact the home and community care office in their health authority, or have a health-care professional make a referral on their behalf.
A total of $768 million over three years is being allocated by the Ministry of Health for investments in primary care, home and community care, residential care and assisted living. A further $249 million over the next three years will be provided by the federal government under the Canada/British Columbia Home and Community Care funding agreement.