B.C. seniors in care homes are assessed for their mental and physical ability. (Office of the Seniors Advocate)

Still too many B.C. seniors in care facilities, or at home on drugs

Seniors Advocate watching use of antipsychotics, opioids

B.C. has Canada’s oldest population of seniors still living at home, and more who are in care facilities who would be better supported in their own homes, B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says.

Mackenzie released her latest analysis Thursday, showing how B.C. senior care stacks up to the rest of Canada. The latest data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows that while B.C.’s seniors at home are in general healthier than the national average, there are issues around drug use that Mackenzie is monitoring closely.

In home-based care, the use of antipsychotic drugs without a diagnosis calling for them continues to be a problem in B.C. Mackenzie said one in four home care clients is in this position, although the rate has decreased in the past five years.

The rate of antipsychotic prescription for home-based patients is more than 17 per cent above the national average for Canada. The rate has changed little in the past five years, despite Mackenzie’s focus on this problem.

In care facilities, the number of residents reporting daily pain is also on the rise in B.C.

“We need to be cautious around balancing pain control and use of opioid medications,” Mackenzie said.

A likely related issue is that of “caregiver distress,” as family members and others struggle to cope with the needs of seniors with dementia, depression, diabetes and other conditions at home.

“The good news is it has gone down 3.2 per cent, but is still up 34 per cent over five years, the second highest in Canada,” Mackenzie said.

Another theme for the Seniors Advocate office has been the decline in B.C. home care resources to keep seniors at home with adequate supports. Surveys have shown that the vast majority of seniors want to stay in their homes, but they need adequate housekeeping and medical support.

Health Minister Adrian Dix has also been struggling with the deficit in care hours per patient in care homes, which is below the government’s target in many cases.

Mackenzie said the data show people with cognitive and physical ability to be on their own, or in assisted living residences, are in care facilities. If they can get around with a walker and have sufficient mental ability, they should be supported at home, she said.

“Why do we see higher functioning seniors in long-term care,” the report asks.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Semiahmoo Peninsula girls to host Black Lives Matter fundraiser

‘We are doing this because the world is full of systemic racism,’ organizer Sabine Lapointe said

Community fruit harvest program returns to Surrey, White Rock

Sources will send a team to harvest fruit trees, so less goes to waste

East White Rock crosswalk, speed bumps proposed

Report on costs and implications requested by council

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Most Read

l -->