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EquipCare program providing more funding for seniors care

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:43 PDT, Mon September 21, 2020

The EquipCare BC program begins accepting applications for its Period 2 funding allocations beginning Sept. 28.

The $10-million program is a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA). It was announced on April 4 and was established to support seniors living in longterm care and assisted living residences.

“Seniors and residents of long-term care and assisted-living homes are the most vulnerable due to complications associated with COVID-19,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Our goal is to ensure that both residents and health-care workers are protected to the maximum extent possible.”

In response to BC’s emergency COVID-19 response plan, EquipCare BC’s Period 1 funding focused on infection prevention and control (IPC). The application intake for this period ends on Sept. 25.

Period 2 will have IPC items for all assisted-living and long-term care homes primarily serving seniors applying for a second round of funding, with eligible items expanded to improving safety and quality for publicly funded applicants. Funds in Period 2 will open up further eligible items for publicly funded applicants primarily serving seniors, including such items as lifts, beds, urgent-response systems and quality-of-life items, such as snoezelen rooms, sensory equipment, lighting and visual aids, music therapy and ergonomic furniture.

“We are committed to protecting our seniors and Elders during this critical time of COVID-19,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, parliamentary secretary for seniors. “This program will further equip long-term care and assisted-living residences with the tools to enhance safety measures for seniors and caregivers in these residences.”

Terry Lake, CEO of BCCPA and EngAge BC, said: “We are pleased to be opening a second round of funding that continues to support much-needed infection prevention and control resources, and also continue to enhance the safety and quality needs of seniors and those providing care.”

Oversight for EquipCare BC is provided by a group of industry stakeholders and government, including representatives from BCCPA, SafeCare BC, Denominational Health Association and the Ministry of Health. Expert advice in infection prevention and control is also provided by ministry staff.

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