Seniors Advocate branding logo Seniors Advocate branding logo mobile
Skip to navigation Skip to Contents Skip to Accessibility Statement
Home Long-Term Care Directory Glossary of Terms

Long-Term Care Directory – Glossary of Terms

Information and Reports

Data Sources

Definition of Indicators

If you have questions about the data in the Long-Term Care Directory, contact our office at 1-877-952-3181.

When looking at the information and comparing facilities it is important to understand terms that may not be familiar to you as well as the data that an indicator represents. The following glossary provides information on key indicators displayed in the directory.

Accreditation – Some care facilities are voluntarily accredited. Accreditation is an ongoing audit process to identify where facilities do well, and where they can make improvements. Peer reviewers visit the organization on a regular basis to evaluate the extent to which it is meeting standards and assigns a rating.

Beds – Private beds are not subsidized and may or may not be available at the facility (call facility to find out); publicly funded beds may be short-term (respite, palliative, rehabilitation) or long-term (intended for permanent residents that require 24 hour complex care).

Councils – A facility may have a family and/or resident council. The council is a group of individuals who either live in the facility or are the representative or relative of residents. They meet to discuss issues of importance to residents.

COVID-19 vaccination – COVID-19 is an infection of the airways and lungs caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. While some people with COVID-19 may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, others can require hospitalization and may die. Serious illness is more common in those who are older and those with certain chronic health conditions. The vaccination helps to prevent infection. The Directory uses fully vaccinated which means a resident with 2 doses of the vaccine.

Direct care hours – This statistic reflects the number of hours of care services that Health Authorities fund each facility per resident, per day. It does not include hospitality services such as meals, laundry, or housekeeping. It includes nursing care ours and allied health hours:

  • Nursing care hours include registered nurse hours, licensed practical nurse hours, and care aide hours.
  • Allied Health includes physical, occupational, recreation, speech and language therapies, social work services and dieticians.

The care hours reported represent an average number for the entire facility, not how many hours of care each resident receives. The decision to fund care hours is made by the health authority, not by the individual facility.

Facility fees – The Directory highlights where additional costs are charged by facilities. Provincial policy indicates the cost of receiving subsidized residential care services in B.C. is calculated at 80% of an individual’s after tax income, subject to a minimum and maximum amount. Temporary rate reductions are available for people in financial need. Additional fees may be charged for preferred personal hygiene and grooming supplies not included in the monthly client rate, such as special denture cleaner, soap or facial tissues that are different from what the facility provides. General hygiene supplies such as shampoo, incontinence supplies and toilet paper are included in the client rate.

Flu vaccination – With diminished immune systems and often multiple co-existing chronic conditions, residents in long-term care are at a high risk of influenza-related complications. One of the ways to increase protection for vulnerable individuals is to vaccinate them against influenza as well as everyone that is close to them. In long-term care, this includes the residents and the health care workers that are caring for them.

Food – Food may be provided by either the operator of the facility or a contractor and could be prepared either offsite and re-heated on-site, or cooked on-site.

Food cost – Food cost includes the daily food and dietary supplements for the residents of care facilities and is calculated per bed per day. The cost of preparing and serving the food is not included. Facilities may spend more on food than they are funded for. Amounts reported in the Directory are actual expenditures.

Incident – Licensed facilities governed by the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (CCALA) are required to report incidents as defined under the Residential Care Regulation. This Directory includes incident types which have been reported to health authority licensing offices. (See also: Serious adverse events)

Licensing complaint – A formal complaint to the facility’s health authority regarding a perceived violation of the licensing regulation. Licensing Officers inspect the facility to determine if the complaint is substantiated – that is, if the facility was not in compliance with the licensing regulation.

Licensing inspection and infractions – Licensing Officers inspect facilities to verify that they are complying with the standards and requirements outlined in the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (CCALA) and the Residential Care Regulation. There are several licensing inspection types and purposes, including routine inspections conducted on a semi-regular basis, an inspection following a complaint, a non-visit follow-up that could be conducted by phone to ensure a required change has been made, or to monitor compliance with licensing standards. If the facility is found to be in non-compliance with a section of the Act or Regulation, an infraction is incurred. The facility is given time to correct the issue and the Licensing Office will follow up with another inspection.

Operator Type – A facility can be run by the health authority, a for-profit organization or a not-for-profit organization.

Per Diem rates – The total contracted funding amount per bed per day for the provision of care and service at each contracted long term care facility. Funding amounts include Health Authority funding and resident co-payment. The per diem rates include items such as staffing costs, food and supply costs, administration, repair and maintenance, housekeeping and landscaping services, property costs and capital costs. Per diem rates are not reported by Health Authority owned and operated facilities at this time, as it is challenging to separate costs from global budgets.

Personal spending account – Residents and their families can deposit up to a set amount to this account from which the resident can make cash-free purchases of items not covered in their monthly client rate, such as a haircut or group outing.

Regulation / Legislation – Residential care facilities are governed by either the Community Care and Assisted Living Act (CCALA) or the Hospital Act and their respective regulations.

Risk Rating –The facility risk rating is based on the risk assessment score and is measured at a low (3-13), medium (14-20) or high (21-40).

Risk Score – Licensing officers conduct risk assessments periodically and these assessments are calculated based on a facility’s inspections. The risk assessment uses a non-biased method for classification of infractions observed during routine inspections. The infractions observed during routine inspections are assessed to determine the degree of potential harm.

Rooms – Semi-private rooms are shared by two residents; multi-person rooms are shared by three or more residents.

Serious adverse event – Facilities governed by the Hospital Act also define incidents in one broad category: “serious adverse events”. A serious adverse event is an incident which was not expected or intended to occur, was not caused by or related to an underlying medical condition of a patient or was the likely cause of, or likely contributed to, severe harm to or the death of a patient. As Island Health does not require Hospital Act facilities to report on the same incidents as CCALA sites, serious adverse events are used for facilities within Island Health in the directory.

Wait time – The wait time is the time it took for the resident to be placed into a facility and is measured from the time a resident is accepted for service until they are admitted to the facility. The wait time is calculated for all residents that were admitted within the fiscal year.