Palliative care in Vancouver
Your options include seniors' care homes
Vancouver offers various options for those seeking hospice or palliative care, but retirement homes present a unique care environment often overlooked by many families faced with this need. Modern retirement residences create the environment of a big warm home, with the added benefit of onsite medical staff and personal service workers.
Consult with homes listed below to learn more about their many advantages.
Seniors' residences in Vancouver offering hospice care
While this option may be under the radar for some people, the benefits of this type of hospice or palliative care are many.
Consider these advantages:
- Retirement residences throughout Greater Vancouver offer a "best of both worlds" solution: seniors at end-of-life find themselves in an environment much more like home than most hospitals and other clinical settings, while also offering the best in pain and symptom management required by this type of care.
- Seniors' homes facilitate community, where people of the same age and similar background find themselves under the same roof, on the same grounds and in the same boat. Your loved one lives in a pleasant environment where they find fellow-feeling with peers.
- Homes offering palliative care will often have more detailed care including assistance with bathing and other activities of daily living. They may also have onsite amenities like a pool, spa or even a salon -- in other words "little things that make life better" -- no matter what stage people are at.
Provincial government assistance, and regulation of care
The province of British Columbia has a Palliative Care Benefits program. These benefits are available wherever the ailing senior lives, including those living in their own home or with family, using home care services, in any British Columbia supportive or assisted living facility, or in a dedicated hospice or palliative unit. This legislation covers medications, medical supplies and equipment used in palliative care, through BC PharmaCare.
When you avail yourself of palliative care in a BC retirement home, there are a number of things to bear in mind. Most residences with end-of-life care will also have assisted living facilities; assuming this, check to be sure that the facility is a member of the BCSLA's Assisted Living Registry. This is a trusted seal of approval, reason to feel assured you are getting the very best care available. Assisted living facilities in BC are also covered by government regulation.
The BC Ombudsperson offers annual updates on implementation of 170+ recommendations of a 2012 report called The Best of Care. The original report (more than 400 pages long) offers a series of recommendations based on three years' investigation into care in British Columbia. This is yet another indication of the province's progressive-mindedness in monitoring improvements to health care services for seniors, their availability, and the legal protection of seniors in care.
Families and prospective palliative care clients in the province should also be aware of BC's Bill of Rights for Residents, written specifically for those in seniors' care. It provides a quick, simple summary of standards based on many years of seniors' care programs in the province, notably BC Residential Care Regulations. Download the BC Residents' Bill of Rights here.