Assisted Living in BC
Find your unique care balance in British Columbia
British Columbia's assisted living homes and facilities offer the best in care, surrounded by unbelievable natural settings like the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, or by wonderful cities such as Victoria and Vancouver. For those elderly who are unable to live alone any longer, this retirement living arrangement is an ideal solution, offering peace of mind to families and friends. Many people who move into a seniors' residence find themselves renewed, with a newly revived positive outlook on life.
Assisted living in Vancouver, Victoria and the BC interior
Why choose an assisted living home
There are many reasons families and seniors feel the need to consider assisted living. Some signs might include: an empty refrigerator, constant small injuries, forgetfulness, inability to maintain one’s own home, and loss of personal hygiene. An assisted living home will help you or your family member with these daily tasks through services, like:
- Help with changing clothes
- Three prepared daily meals
- Help with walking
- Assistance with personal chores (i.e. showering, dressing, going to the bathroom)
- Emergency protocols and communications devices
- Personal laundry
Service and care offered by senior assisted living residences
Assisted living means a specific level of care tailored to the needs of any senior who moves into one of these BC residences. Basic daily needs are taken care of, including daily meals in a communal dining environment, housekeeping and medication administration. These needs are covered in just about every assisted living facility. On top of that, there are other kinds of care tailored to the individual requirements of seniors. Some of these are as follows:
- Mobility assistance for seniors in wheelchairs, or with other mobility concerns. Transfer assistance is provided by on-site staff at many BC assisted living care facilities.
- Incontinence care may be required by some seniors, and this problem is dealt with in a very respectful and dignified fashion by dedicated nursing care staff.
- Bathing assistance is another feature of care offered, also dealt with in a dignified manner.
- Dressing assistance is another kind of care that may be included in costs of homes or may be specified by families looking into assisted living needs.
Retirement residences offer more care all the time, intended to meet the needs of seniors who may be used to "not needing anyone's help." The world of retirement is changing, and homes are better equipped, staffed and educated all the time, to help today's elderly.
Some secondary benefits
- Social Interaction — There are numerous opportunities for social interaction and to make friends at an assisted living home. Group dining experiences and community activities, like bingo or gardening, bring residents together.
- Constant service — Of course, you could request privacy whenever you want it. However, life at an assisted living facility is a lot easier than it would be in your own home. It is, in short, a lot more care free, as the facilities’ staff will look after your basic needs or whatever you need help with. You will no longer be in charge of maintaining your own home. Life will become increasingly relaxing.
- Touches of home — Usually, you could bring small personal items, like a few minor pieces of furniture or family photos, with you. And, many retirement homes allow pets (which has benefits for many). However, you will have to part with some things, and there are things to consider as you pack and move into a retirement home.
- Safe Environments — An assisted living home’s staff are always ready to rapidly respond to any emergency. And, you should always feel comfortable and safe, as you will know that the facility will be monitored twenty-four hours daily, seven days weekly.
- Enjoyability — Assisted living homes can be fun and lively environments, as there are always community activities, like concerts and games. You need not be bored at one of these facilities!
Costs associated with assisted living in British Columbia
The average cost of senior assisted living across the province of BC, according to one estimate, is $2700 per month. Actual costs that residents will pay will vary widely depending on the care options required, the actual location of the facility (Vancouver is of course more expensive than residences in some interior cities and towns) and the quality of the residence. Private care homes will offer more services and a lower staff-to-residents ratio (among other benefits), and will be priced accordingly.
Some example costs from across British Columbia:
|City||Starting cost/month||What's included|
|Vancouver, BC||$4070||Basic housekeeping, with specific care options extra|
|Burnaby, BC||$3800||Basic housekeeping, specific assistance options extra|
|Kamloops, BC||$3220||Basic services; assistance options priced individually|
|Victoria, BC||$4510||Bathing, dressing assistance & more|
These are just some examples from homes that have been listed here. Consult individual assisted living senior residences in BC to find out basic suite costs and what you will need to pay for extra kinds of assistance. You'll find more details about costs across the province, as well as a look at subsidized assisted living in our look at assisted living costs in BC.
Retirement in BC
For those moving from out of the province (to be nearer to family, perhaps) Canada’s west coast is incredibly diverse and would make any venture beyond the confines of your assisted living retirement home worthwhile. The mountain air and the more temperate climate are just two benefits of living in BC that will improve your health and your outlook on life. While some assisted living care facilities in BC seem high priced, you can rest assured knowing that all your monthly costs are covered under one umbrella.
Assisted living homes in the province are covered by government regulation, and (as of 2006) are also covered by the Assisted Living Registry of the BCSLA. This seal of approval ensures that you are getting the best retirement care money can buy.
A report by British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) in 2013 noted that the Community Care and Assisted Living Act focuses on health and safety concerns and does not – for example – concern itself with the quality of meals provided or other services. It also does not concern itself with false advertising on the part of care homes. Such concerns may be accountable under BC's Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act. The Report also recommends Advanced Disclosure policies. You can read the 2013 report here.
In 2012, the BC Ombudsperson released a lengthy report on residents' rights called The Best of Care. This is a 400 plus page report based on three years of investigation into seniors' care in the province. The report focuses on the need for improvements in access to assistance and support in understanding the care system. It is followed up annually with updates on progress. You can review the report and updates here.
BC's Bill of Rights for Residents provides a summary of a number of standards of care that have been identified over the years in British Columbia, in the former Adult Care Regulations and newer Residential Care Regulations. We urge you to download and review the BC Residents' Bill of Rights.
We also urge families and seniors to go into some of the retirement villages and residences listed here in order to see for themselves what retirement living is like these days, and how vibrant and delightful today's senior care homes and villages are.