Port Coquitlam’s Hawthorne Seniors Care Community is one of 88 care homes across British Columbia to receive funding to purchase new safety equipment, as part of the Seniors Safety and Quality Improvement Program (or SSQIP, pronounced “SKWIP”) initiative.

Hawthorne Seniors Care Community received $35,576.88 of the total $2.6 million in provincial funding announced by Minister of Health Adrian Dix during an August 10 event in Vancouver.

“All seniors, including seniors in residential care, deserve safe, comfortable environments,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “And people who work with seniors need the tools to make that happen. Updating equipment in residential care homes throughout our province is one of the actions government is taking to support the health, safety and well-being of seniors and their care teams throughout B.C.”

SSQIP is managed by BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA), who process applications from all residential care homes that receive public funding for new equipment intended to improve safety and quality of life for residents. Oversight of SSQIP is provided by representatives from the Ministry of Health, BCCPA, Denominational Health Association and SafeCare BC. Approved applicants may receive up to $500 for each publicly-funded resident.

“Safe and reliable beds, lifts and slings – each of these things can go a long way in improving the day to day life for seniors with mobility issues,” said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “We look forward to continuing this important work with our partners.”

“Our government is proud to invest in this program, which will go into adding new and replacement slings, mattresses, and a wheelchair scale to help improve the safety and quality of life for those living in residential care homes,” said Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam. “It’s great to see that Hawthorne Seniors Care Community and seniors in Port Coquitlam will benefit from new equipment.”

“The new purchases made by care homes will contribute greatly towards improving quality of life for seniors and worker safety,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “BCCPA welcomes this investment and will continue working with its partners to strengthen the delivery of seniors care in B.C.”

In addition to bed and mattress purchases, care homes are investing in new shower chairs, tubs, mobility equipment (such as floor and ceiling lifts), lighting and visual aids, sensory rooms, music therapy and ergonomic furniture. Preventative and urgent response systems are also funded to promote both resident and employee safety.

Applications for a second round of funding opened on August 28th, 2018. Up to $2 million in funding will be allocated during this period.