A comprehensive continuum of health care services is required to provide optimal care and support for seniors in B.C., including primary health care, specialist care, chronic disease management programs, hospital care, home care, long-term care and palliative care. The gateway to the healthcare system is through the family physician. Learn more about navigating B.C.’s health care system using the links below.
Resources for Seniors
There are three main provincial websites detailing programs and services for seniors’ health care.
View the B.C. Government Health website to learn more about:
- Enrolment in the Medical Services Plan
- Financial assistance with the cost of prescription drugs and medical supplies through Fair PharmaCare
- Accessing health care services including assisted living, residential care and home & community care
View the Seniors’ Health website to learn more about:
- Specific health concerns such as cataracts, dementia and heart disease
- Advanced care planning
- Emergency preparedness
View the Planning for Healthy Aging website to learn more about:
- Healthy lifestyle choices
- Protection from elder abuse and neglect
- Lifelong learning and community participation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I want to find information about long-term care facilities in my community. What’s a good resource?
A. The Office of the Seniors Advocate publishes the British Columbia Long-Term Care Directory which lists information for publicly subsidized facilities in British Columbia. The Directory contains a range of information including care hours, food services, contact information, languages spoken, number of private rooms, number of licensing incidents, complaints, as well as levels of therapies provided and additional care quality indicators.
Q. Can I get help paying for my prescriptions?
A. To help with prescription costs, you should first enroll in B.C.’s Fair PharmaCare Plan. This program provides income-based coverage to individuals and families, based on income tax data from two years ago. If your income decreases, you can apply for an income review directly with Fair PharmaCare.
If your prescription is not covered by Fair PharmaCare, ask your doctor about getting a Special Authority for it to be included in your coverage.
Q. Can I get help paying for my dental care?
A. While all British Columbians are covered for dental and oral surgery when medically required to be performed in hospital, there is no coverage for routine dental care. The B.C. Dental Association has a list of low-cost dental clinics and dentists who offer senior’s discounts throughout the province.
Q. How do I replace a lost CareCard?
A. If you have lost your BC Services Card or Enhanced Drivers License, visit an ICBC Drivers’ Licensing Office with two pieces of required ID to obtain a photo BC Services Card. If you are age 75 or older, you also have the option of contacting Health Insurance BC to request a non-photo BC Services Card.
If your card has been stolen, please report the theft to Health Insurance BC.
Q. Where can I phone for medical advice?
A. Call 8-1-1 to speak to a health services representative who can can help you find health information and services or connect you directly with a health professional:
- Registered nurses (available 24 hours a day, every day)
- Registered dietitians (available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Friday)
- Pharmacists (available 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. every night)
8-1-1 is not an emergency service. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
COMMON HEALTH CARE CONTACTS
604-683-7151 (Lower Mainland)
604-683-7151 (Lower Mainland)
Find information on a physician or file a complaint.
604-733-7758 (Lower Mainland)
Find help if you think a provincial public authority has treated you unfairly