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Assisted Living in British Columbia

Assisted living in BC is offered throughout the province, from the large metro areas of Vancouver and Surrey, to the smaller suburban and rural cities and towns. No matter where your search for care is focused in the province, we will work to help you find the right assisted living community for you or your elderly loved one.

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Assisted Living in British Columbia

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What is Assisted Living?

According to the British Columbia Ministry of Health in British Columbia, assisted living services are regulated under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (the act). Assisted living services include housing, hospitality services and one or two personal assistance services, such as regular assistance with activities of daily living, medication services, or psycho-social supports. Both publicly subsidized and private-pay assisted living residences that meet the definition of an assisted living residence under the act are required to be registered with the provincial assisted living registrar.

Some other services or features of Assisted Living in BC include:

  • Offers housing, hospitality services and personal assistance to seniors who live independently but require help with some daily tasks
  • Same type of communities as the independent living
  • Provides additional services such as bathing, dressing or medication monitoring. Nursing care may be available
  • Seniors must be able to be self-directed and independently mobile in BC
  • Assisted living can be private pay or funded
  • Assisted living in BC is regulated by the Office of the Assisted Living Registrar

Proud Member of the BCSLA

A Place for Mom is a member of the British Columbia Seniors Living Association (BCSLA), a voluntary, membership-driven organization. As a part of BCSLA, we work with Independent and Assisted Living providers to form and strengthen vital resident-responsive communities that foster independence and freedom of choice for seniors.

Assisted Living Costs in British Columbia

In 2013, the average monthly rent for assisted living units in BC was $2,747. Rates vary widely by location and unit size, with studio suites in non-urban BC averaging $1,597 per month, at the low end of the scale, and 2-bedroom apartments in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and Central Coast areas averaging over $3,900 per month, at the upper end of the range.

British Columbia Assisted Living Laws and Regulations

Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Regulations

Protect the health, safety and dignity of people cared for in licensed community care facilities (residential and child day care) by setting minimum health and safety requirements, and allow for response to complaints. Provide for registration of assisted living residences and response to complaints.

Continuing Care Act and Regulations

Define designated continuing care services; establish client fees associated with those services; authorize funding of non‐hospital based health care services, excluding physician services.

Hospital Act and Regulations

Provide for the designation, licensing, administration, inspection, and regulation of extended care and private hospitals according to standards of management and care.

Hospital Insurance Act and Regulations

Define beneficiaries who are insured to receive benefits and establish fees for persons receiving care in extended care and private hospitals.

Mental Health Act and Regulation

Allow for the establishment of specialized mental health facilities, and the provision of services for the examination, diagnosis and treatment of persons with a mental disorder, including dementia. Also provides for the involuntary detention of those persons for examination and treatment.

Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act and bylaws

Establish the standards that pharmacists must follow to protect the health and safety of persons using prescribed drugs, and provides specific bylaws for community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and residential care pharmacy services.

Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority Act

Provide protection for persons who pay for services in advance, such as persons living in assisted living residences and residential care facilities.

Representation Agreement Act

Enable adults to plan for a time when they may become incapable of making their own decisions. Representation agreements can cover all aspects of an adult's life ‐ health and personal care, as well as financial and legal matters.

Adult Guardianship Act and Regulations

Protect adults from abuse or neglect, including requirements for reporting. Regulate the Public Guardian and Trustee’s appointment of persons to make decisions or assist an adult make decisions about the adult’s personal care, health care, legal matters, or financial affairs.

Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act and Regulation

Establish the requirements for obtaining consent to treatment including circumstances in which a person can give valid substitute consent on behalf of an adult who is incapable.

Public Guardian and Trustee Act and Regulations

Define the powers of the Public Guardian and Trustee in the investigation of financial abuse.

Power of Attorney Act

Provide for a capable adult to delegate decisions about financial and legal matters to another person within certain limitations.

Patients Property Act

Provide the Supreme Court of BC with the power to appoint a committee of the person and a person’s estate for an individual who has been deemed no longer able to manage their own property and financial affairs.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Regulate the collection of information by public bodies, and provides rights of access to information by persons whose information is held by public bodies, including health authorities.

Patient Care Quality Review Board Act

Establish the Patient Care Quality Review Offices and Boards which are responsible for reviewing appropriate “care quality complaints” from persons receiving health care services or their family members and assisting with resolution.

Criminal Records Review Act and Regulations

Protect vulnerable adults from individuals whose criminal record indicates they pose a threat of physical, sexual, or in the case of adults, financial abuse.

Coroners Act and Regulation

Set out the powers, duties and jurisdiction of the Coroner’s Office to investigate all unnatural, sudden and unexpected, unexplained or unattended deaths, and to make recommendations to improve public safety and prevent death in similar circumstances.

Local Government Act and Regulations, including BC Building Code

Building code regulates safety in the design, construction, and occupancy of buildings in the province, including assisted living residences and residential care facilities.

Fire Service Act and Regulations and BC Fire Code

Set out requirements for various classes of buildings, including assisted living residences and residential care facilities; Code contains technical requirements designed to provide an acceptable level of fire safety within a community.

Ombudsperson Act

Set out the powers, duties and jurisdiction of the provincial ombudsperson to oversee the administrative actions of government authorities, including health authorities, and conduct special reviews.

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