Health Minister Terry Lake

Assisted living rules to be eased

Health Minister Terry Lake says changes to 'rigid regulations' coming on advice of BC Seniors' Advocate

B.C. is preparing to make it easier for seniors to stay in assisted living longer before moving to more costly residential care.

Health Minister Terry Lake said amendments will be presented in the current legislature session in response to recommendations by Seniors’ Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

“One of the things she has found is that sometimes people are inappropriately placed in residential care when they could be in assisted living longer.” Lake said. “We have somewhat rigid regulations around who can stay in assisted living before they have to move on to residential care.”

Mackenzie’s January report also found that home care worker hours declined in 2014-15 in three of five health regions, Northern Health, Vancouver Island and Vancouver Coastal, despite increasing senior populations.

She said reductions in meal preparation, bathing and housekeeping can also lead to seniors moving from their homes to care facilities.