Seniors’ Care


The Buurtzorg Model of seniors’ home health care was founded in 2006 by four Dutch nurses who wanted better relationships with, and better care for, their clients. The client is at the centre of a small, self-managing team of empowered healthcare professionals, which improves quality of care. Cutting down on administration saves money. This nonprofit model has now spread to 24 countries.

Oasis Aging In Place: program originating in Ontario to counteract social isolation, facilitate better nutrition and promote physical fitness within existing housing communities of seniors. Listen to Vancouver Co-op Radio program Each for All‘s two hour-long podcast documentaries about Oasis: Part 1 and Part 2. July 2020.

Village to Village Network. Grassroots organizations supporting neighbour-to-neighbour support to help provide affordable services to seniors. Originated in Boston USA in 1999.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs are daily self-care tasks. They determine whether you can continue to care for yourself, or whether you need in-home care, assisted living or residential care. There are two levels of ADLs: Instrumental ADLs include shopping, cooking, driving, banking, etc; Basic ADLs include feeding, bathing, dressing, etc. (The link above is from a paid-care site in the US but is the clearest explanation I found. Here’s BC Health’s ADL page.)


Family Caregivers of BC 2020 Report by the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate, presented in a Town Hall webinar with the Family Caregivers of BC. Dec 2020. Since the Seniors’ Advocate 2017 report “Caregivers in Distress,” the pandemic has hugely worsened the distress and isolation of family caregivers.

The experiences and needs of older caregivers in Canada, by StatsCanada. Nov 2020. Based on 2018 data, nearly a quarter of Canadian seniors are themselves caregivers. CBC article summarizing report and its implications in the pandemic.

A Higher Standard of Care: Setting federal standards in long-term care and continuing care, by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. November 2020. Federal standards are critical to saving lives in long-term care homes. Everyone should have access to care based on need, without financial barriers, and with minimum wait times for admission to a long-term care home. Minimum staffing levels should be enforced in long-term care facilities, accompanied by decent working conditions and recruitment strategies to attract and retain staff. Infection prevention plans should include PPE, laundry, room size, and ventilation. Public accountability is essential, through reporting of consistent, verified data and enforcing penalties for non-compliance. We need a universal and accountable system of seniors’ care. CBC article summarizing report and podcast of interview with its author.

The Place of Assisted Living in BC’s Seniors Care System. BC Health Coalition, with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Hospital Employees Union. June 2020. Drawing on interviews with BC care aides, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), front-line managers, residents and family members, the study [8 pages] “offers a preliminary assessment of the quality and appropriateness of assisted living services, the conditions for both residents and workers, and the legislative and regulatory frameworks that govern assisted living.”

Restoring Trust: COVID-19 and The Future of Long-Term Care. Royal Society Task Force on COVID-19. June 2020. Executive Summary [4 pages] and Full Report [61 pages]. “Our long-term care sector, particularly nursing homes, is in crisis now from far more than COVID-19. The pandemic just exposed long-standing, wide-spread and pervasive deficiencies in the sector.”

A Billion Reasons to Care – Office of the Seniors Advocate for BC. Feb 2020. Provincial review of the $1.4 billion-dollar contracted long-term care sector in BC. The report found that while receiving, on average, the same level of public funding:

  • not-for-profit care homes spend $10,000 or 24% more per year on care for each resident;
  • for-profit care homes failed to deliver 207,000 funded direct care hours;
  • not-for-profit care homes exceeded direct care hour targets by delivering an additional 80,000 hours of direct care beyond what they were publicly funded to deliver.

Assisted Living in British Columbia: Trends in access, affordability and ownership. Andrew Longhurst, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Feb 2020. “Access to publicly subsidized assisted living in British Columbia has fallen since 2008. Between 2010-2017 BC added only 105 units of publicly subsidized assisted living despite a growing seniors’ population while—more than 10 times that number—1,130 private-pay units were added. Seniors who cannot afford to pay privately may go without care altogether or wait until their health deteriorates to the point of requiring a nursing home or hospitalization.”

The Shocking Problems in BC’s Assisted Living Homes for Seniors. Karen-Marie Elah Perry & Jennifer Whiteside, The Tyee. June 2020

COVID-19: The Case for a New Eldercare Model. J. Tom Webb, Global Co-Operation. May 2020.

COVID-19 Demonstrating the value of family caregivers. Janice Keefe, Policy Options. May 2020.

Time to bring seniors’ long-term care under Canada Health Act. Council of Canadians. May 2020.

Re-imagining Long Term Residential Care in the COVID-19 Crisis. Centre for Policy Alternatives, April 2020. “The report’s short-term recommendations include: making all staff permanent and limiting their work to one nursing home; raising staff wages and benefits, especially sick leave; rapidly providing testing for all those living, working or visiting in homes… In the long term, … policymakers should … develop a universal public long-term care plan that is accessible and adequately funded; stop privatization and promote non-profit ownership… and establish and enforce minimum staffing levels and regulations.”

The Best of Care: Getting it Right for BC Seniors (Part 2, 2019 update). Office of the Ombudsperson. Feb 2019. “Seven years after conducting a wide ranging investigation examining seniors care and services in the province, the Ombudsperson finds a number of key recommendations are still outstanding.”

Co-op Eldercare in Canada: a Call to Action. John Restakis, National Task Force on Co-op Eldercare. 2008.


Why Co-Ops? Presentation by Vanessa Hammond of Victoria Health Cooperative, and Past Chair of Health Co-Ops Canada, about Co-Ops Caring for Seniors. Presented to the SCASCC Meeting, July 5, 2020.

The Co-operative Identity. Courtesy of the Victoria Health Cooperative and International Cooperative Alliance.

What is a Co-Op?
Videos about Co-Ops
Common Share Podcast about developing co-ops. Co-operatives First [nd]

The Cooperative Model Revisited [30 min video] – John Restakis, 2014.

Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital.” John Restakis, New Society Publishers, 2010. 283 pages. ISBN: 9780865716513

Housing Co-Ops Build Community – 7 min video, CHFBC (Co-operative Housing Federation of BC), 2012.

Federated Co-operatives Limited – FCL is a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative owned by more than 170 independent retail co-operative associations. These retail co-ops own and operate agro centres, food stores, gas bars/convenience stores and home centres in Western Canada.

Health Co-ops

Furrows and Faith Retirement Co-operative – Mossbank, SK

NorWest Community Health Co-Op, Winnipeg, MB

Victoria Health Cooperative – Victoria, BC

Community First Health Co-op – Nelson, BC

Golden Community Co-op – Golden, BC

Affordable Housing

SCRD Reports on Affordable Housing

Coastal Workforce Housing, Sunshine Coast BC

Brightside Community Homes Foundation, Vancouver BC

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