BC Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in a press conference Monday that 495 new long-term care beds for seniors are coming to the Interior.
The new beds will be spread between Kelowna (140 beds), Kamloops (100 beds), Vernon (90 beds), Penticton, and Nelson (75 beds).
“So we can not just live longer, but live well,” Dix said.
“This is about the broader question of improving care standards, and ensuring all of us in the future have access to the care we need when we need it.”
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He said the current COVID-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerability of people living in long-term care and has highlighted the need to improve standards of care in that sector.
When he was elected, Dix said 87% of long-term care homes in the province didn’t meet the provincial standard of staff care hours per resident. Three years later, he said this is the first time staffing levels have been enough to give each resident 3.36 hours of care per day.
The homes will be for seniors who need help with feeding, bathing, and socializing.
Dix added all of the new beds will be in single-occupancy rooms to improve infection control ability at the homes.