Seniors’ advocate office to be opened

Province of B.C. responds to ombudsperson's report on problems and inconsistencies in senior care

Faced with a sweeping report from the B.C. Ombudsperson on problems and inconsistencies in senior care, Health Minister Mike de Jong has launched an effort to simplify the path navigated by families finding health care for the elderly.

Ombudsperson Kim Carter’s new report makes 176 recommendations, including a need to provide clearer information to people seeking a space in a care home or assisted living facility.

De Jong said the health ministry will launch a toll-free phone line by June for people to express concerns about the system. A new seniors’ advocate office is to be established at an unspecified later date.

De Jong agreed with Carter’s finding that it is too difficult for families to find care spaces, and to determine if they are eligible for public subsidies. He also agreed that the government hasn’t sufficiently analyzed its home care support program, which helps keep 90 per cent of B.C. seniors out of care facilities.

The government announced a $15 million budget to expand a pilot program run by the United Way to help people with shopping, gardening, transportation and other non-medical supports so they can stay in their homes.

Other measures are aimed at providing palliative care at home for terminally ill patients. Training for doctors and home health providers is to begin in April, and an after-hours palliative care nursing support phone line is also be established this spring.

De Jong said priority will be given to keeping elderly couples together when they have different health care needs that force them to be separated.

The seniors’ advocate should be able to deal with financial disputes at private care facilities as well as helping seniors find adequate care in the public system, de Jong said.

Just Posted

School strike: SD63 says grade 12 students ‘will not lose their graduation year’

Parents, students concerned about educational impact of CUPE 441 strike

Population growth on West Shore strains wait lists for family services

Funding not keeping pace with demand at Pacific Family Services Association

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

Sno’uyutth Day returns, this year celebrated at The Oaks

Songhees’ Florence Dick to speak about reconciliation

West Shore RCMP arrest man accused in Port Renfrew theft, Duncan fraud

Man charged after $300 in fraudulent charges, two phones and wallet stolen

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

Most Read