The province is giving seniors and their families more options when waiting for a placement in long-term care, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Wednesday.
According to the health ministry, the changes will let seniors and their families pick up to three preferred care homes instead of taking the first one that is available.
The waitlist will work on a first come, first serve basis where those who have been waiting the longest get first access. Seniors can also opt for an interim care home while they wait for their preferred options to become available.
In addition, seniors waiting for a longterm care assessment can now wait for it at home, with supports.
“While a person is waiting for availability of their preferred care home, they will have more time to accept or decline a move into an interim care home,” Dix said. “Previously they had two days to decide. We are now extending that to three days if the interim care home is the best option for them.
“In addition, with few exceptions, the people who have been on the wait list the longest will have the highest priority to be placed in a care home.
While on wait list for their preferred home, people have the option of waiting in an interim care home, or in the community with supports, while remaining on all the wait lists for their preferred care homes.
“First appropriate bed” policy changing July 15 to allow seniors to pick 3 preferred care homes, @adriandix says #Bcleg #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/i4RGwucP3X
— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) July 3, 2019
Other changes made to longterm care legislation in B.C. include bringing into effect the need for seniors to provide consent before they are placed into longterm care.
The move was applauded by the BC Care Providers Association.
“BCCPA has been advocating for these changes for some time. We feel that these adaptations will go a long way in giving seniors more choice in the care they receive, which is fundamental to person-centred care,” said CEO Daniel Fontaine.
Fontaine noted that now seniors could choose care homes that are closer to amenities or their children and reduce their feeling of social isolation.