Seniors across Vancouver Island will have better support to help them live independently after the province announced they will invest $75 million over three years to increase day program spaces.
“The creation of these spaces also supports family and friend caregivers to take time for themselves to support their own health and well-being,” health minister Adrian Dix said in a release.
The work is part of ongoing efforts to support seniors and adults with disabilities to continue living at home, Dix added.
Island Health has put forward a request for proposals to add 7,400 more adult day programs in the region. Supporting people to socialize with their peers helps maintain connections to the community while combating the isolation and loneliness that seniors can sometimes face, the ministry said in a release.
Seniors and adults living with cognitive and physical challenges will receive healthcare services including nursing, rehabilitation activities, nutrition and foot care, as well as participate in social programs with the new funding.
By 2019, the plan is to have more than 68,000 spaces in Greater Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula, Mount Waddington, Campbell River and the Comox Valley.
Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie said the new spaces will give family caregivers “a day or week of respite,” a crucial element to relieving caregiver burden.
“Adult day program spaces have not been keeping up with demand and the waiting lists can be long,” Mackenzie said. “This is a very important step to addressing the shortage.”