Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
How do I gain access to publicly funded residential care facilities? What are the eligibility criteria?

In the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) placement or admission to a subsidized facility is done according to “Needs-Based- Access” (NBA). This means that clients with the highest need and urgency for 24-hour residential care have priority access into the first available, appropriate bed.

Wait-listing is not permitted (i.e. putting one’s name on a list for a facility ―for some time in the future if the need arises‖) for subsidized facilities. The reason for this is to ensure timely placement for people with an imminent need for 24-hour residential care (i.e. within the next three months). This means that people who are offered a bed in a government funded residential care facility must be prepared to move within 48 hours after being notified that a bed has become available.

With the introduction in January 2005 of PathWays, a computerized patient flow optimization tool, VIHA now collects client information and match client’s preferences and individual needs with available vacancies. This has also allowed VIHA to create client- focused admission practices. For example, in residential care, VIHA will aim to ensure that clients receive their preferred geographic area and will ask clients if they want to request a transfer after 60 days of being admitted to a non-preferred facility.

As discussed in Section 8, assessments to determine eligibility for placement are performed by Long Term Care Case Managers, and anyone (i.e. the care receiver, the family caregiver or a health care provider) can call to set up a time for the assessment. In the BC Capital Region, the phone number (General Inquiries Line) is 250-388-2273.

Eligibility is determined by a standardized assessment that focuses on:

  • the person’s health status,
  • whether the person’s needs for care can be safely addressed with available community resources,
  • the well-being of the family caregiver
  • the family caregiver’s ability to provide the necessary care and support in the home.

Three possible outcomes or pathways following an eligibility assessment

1.  Your family member may be deemed eligible for residential care facilities based on the need for 24-hour supervision;

2.  Your family member may be referred to, and deemed eligible for supportive housing, based on the need for 24-hour access to support staff and regular visits from community-based care providers; or

3.  Your family member may be referred to community support services such as home care, home nursing or adult day centres.

If you and your family member do not agree with the eligibility assessment, or have concerns about your facility assignment, you are encouraged to talk with your Long Term Care Case Manager and/or the Facility Administrator.

You may also contact the Vancouver Island Health Authority Client Relations Office (phone: 370-8323).