New B.C. care home directory finds infractions rising

New B.C. care home directory finds infractions rising


A new care home directory has found a big increase in the number of licensing infractions.

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

About 79 per cent of long-term care sites were inspected, according to Isobel Mackenzie, BC Seniors Advocate, 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 injuries found (80 per cent) and the reportable incidents (40 per cent), said Mackenzie.

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.

Highlights in the 2021/22 directory include:

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. 100 per cent of health authority owned facilities and 74 per cent of contracted facilities meet this guideline.

The proportion of residents taking antipsychotics without a diagnosis of psychology 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 5 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 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).

“With over 130 assisted living residences operating throughout BC, we felt it was important to also include them in the directory which is a valuable resource for seniors, caregivers and the public,” said Mackenzie, in a statement. “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 2021/22 directory also 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.

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

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Jorge Oliveira

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