The Office of the Seniors Advocate has released its updated long-term care home directory for 2021/22 which now also includes information on all publicly-funded assisted living facilities in British Columbia. Photo: Unsplash

The Office of the Seniors Advocate has released its updated long-term care home directory for 2021/22 which now also includes information on all publicly-funded assisted living facilities in British Columbia. Photo: Unsplash

Assisted living added to B.C. long-term care directory

The directory is available online and via hard copy by request.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate has released its updated long-term care home directory for 2021/22 which now also includes information on all publicly-funded assisted living facilities in British Columbia.

“With over 130 assisted living residences operating throughout B.C., we felt it was important to also include them in the directory which is a valuable resource for seniors, caregivers and the public,” said Isobel Mackenzie, BC Seniors Advocate. “Choosing a residential care home for a loved one is a massive undertaking and can be overwhelming. Our directory provides valuable, up-to-date information to help British Columbians with this important decision.”

The directory includes basic information such as room configuration, languages spoken by staff, food preparation and also offers an opportunity to see how the residence is doing in terms of care quality indicators. For example, the directory reports out on the use of medications, restraints and access to therapies as well as funded hours of care per person in each residence, complaints and results of inspections.

Directory highlights

Over the past five years, the long-term care population has been fairly stable in terms of the level of care needs and complexity of residents. Some of the quality indicators such as use of physical restraints, falls and worsening pressure ulcers have also remained stable.

The amount of direct care hours each senior receives is continuing to improve with an overall average across the province of 3.39 hours of care per person, per day, and 84 per cent of facilities now meet the target of 3.36 hours of care or more. As well, 100 per cent of health authority owned facilities and 74 per cent of contracted facilities meet this guideline.

Isobel Mackenzie

Isobel Mackenzie

Seventy-nine per cent of long-term care sites were inspected, an 8.2 per cent increase over the previous year, but not yet at the level of inspections prior to the pandemic. There was an increase in both the number of licensing infractions found (80 per cent) and the reportable incidents (40 per cent).

The proportion of residents taking antipsychotics without a diagnosis of psychosis continues to increase. There is a 3.8 per cent increase over the previous year and an eight per cent increase over the past five years.

The average age of residents in long-term care facilities was 83 years old, with 53 per cent aged 85 or older, and six per cent younger than 65; 63 per cent of residents were female, this is relatively unchanged over the past five years.

Overall, the average wait time for admission to long-term care ranged from 0 days to a maximum of 1,942 days (5.3 years). Fraser Health had the shortest average wait time (49 days); Northern Health had the longest average wait time (266 days).

Both the median and average length of stay decreased last year, although both have increased overall in the last five years. The length of stay was shorter in health authority owned facilities (782 days), compared to contracted facilities (889 days).

The length of stay continues to be shorter in health authority owned facilities compared to contracted facilities over the past five years.

The proportion of residents diagnosed with depression (23 per cent) and the proportion receiving antidepressant medication (51 per cent) remained unchanged from 2020/21 and has been relatively stable over the past five years. Both continue to be slightly higher in health authority owned facilities than in contracted facilities.

The use of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and recreational therapy have remained relatively unchanged over the past five years and remain higher in health authority owned sites versus contracted sites.

Assisted Living

The Assisted Living Directory contains information on 132 residences providing publicly funded assisted living services for seniors.

The average age of residents in assisted living ranges from 82–85 years in four health authorities but lower in Interior Health at 77 years.

The wait times for admission to assisted living vary considerably with the longest average in Northern Health (488 days) being approximately six times as long as the shortest average wait time in Vancouver Coastal Health (81 days).

The directory now includes the First Nations territory in which the residence operates and the proportion of residents in long-term care taking antipsychotics with or without a diagnosis of psychosis. Further information about assisted living residences will be added in coming years as it becomes available.

The directory is available online and via hard copy by request.

To search the directory online and to read the summary report, visit: seniorsadvocatebc.ca.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate is an independent office of the provincial government with a mandate of monitoring seniors’ services and reporting on systemic issues affecting seniors. The office also provides information and referral to seniors and their caregivers by calling toll-free 1.877.952.3181 or email: info@seniorsadvocatebc.ca.

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