Tuesday, April 12, 2016

MLA Rice speaks to the need for better staffing at Seniors facilities

Improved care and funding for Seniors Care Facilities proved to be a topic of  much interest at the Legislature on Monday morning, as MLA's from both parties spoke to the issue as part of the discussion on a private members bill designed to call attention to a range of issues and to seek action from the provincial government.

During the course of Monday's House session, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice joined in on the conversation related to services and facilities that are available for senior citizens in the province, using the North Coast's Acropolis Manor as an example of where the province needs to improve the staffing levels for seniors.

Speaking during the discussion phase of Motion 10, a private members' initiative on Standards for Care homes, Ms. Rice offered up a testimony to the importance of the care facility to the community and some background into the staffing levels, highlighting her concerns over the conditions in many of the facilities and the need for better funding.

Ms. Rice noted that there are currently 292 government funded care homes in British Columbia and of that number 232 of the 292 do not meet the government standard for staffing assistance for a number of required services.  She also observed that a recent report from the Seniors Advocate had outlined that on the issue of funding for care facilities, 82 percent of residential care homes don't meet the minimum standard for care hours.

After a thorough overview of those concerns and how the provincial government is not responding to the needs of seniors, Ms. Rice provided a brief snapshot of Acropolis Manor for the Legislature.

MLA Rice spoke on the need for
better staffing levels at Acropolis
Manor and other Care facilities in BC
I'd like to talk about a care home in my constituency. We have the Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert. I would like to first acknowledge that I truly appreciate the hard work of the staff in that home, from the housekeepers to the laundry staff, to the nurses — the LPNs, the RNs, the health care aides — to the people serving the food, the volunteers. Everyone does a phenomenal job in my small town to look after our seniors. 

However, I would like to talk about the staffing level at Acropolis. It's a 61-bed facility, and we have three wings — however you'd like to imagine that — or three arms with 20 residents in each. We have three health care aides to take care of them, always short-staffed by one.

More background on the issues of Seniors care in British Columbia can be found from the report from the office of the Seniors Advocate which was released in January, you can review its contents here.

The North Coast MLA was one of a number of participants in the discussion during the morning session, you can review her contribution from the Legislature minutes.

The video of the Monday morning house session is also available on the Legislature home page, Ms. Rice's contribution begins just before the 11:30 point.

For more items related to Ms. Rice's work in the Legislature see our archive page here.

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