FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New online service will transform the way British Columbians access seniors’ living and wellness services
Burnaby, B.C. (July 31, 2019) – EngAge BC, an operating arm of BC Care Providers Association, today launched Route 65, a ground-breaking online tool that helps match older adults and their family members with B.C.’s leading operators of independent living, assisted living, long-term and home health care services.
“Countless calls from frustrated seniors and their concerned family members over the years signalled that there was a major flaw in the current system,” says EngAge BC CEO Daniel Fontaine. “Not every senior has access to my direct phone line, nor should they need it in order to better navigate the system.”
“Route 65 was developed keeping in mind the diverse needs of older adults and the stress families face when navigating seniors’ housing and wellness services. We identified the need for an accessible and intuitive tool to find positive solutions in what can often be a time of crisis.”
For those seeking long-term care, the launch of Route 65 is timely. Changes to the access policy that were announced by the Ministry of Health earlier this month will mean that seniors will no longer be required to take the first available bed offered to them. Now with more choice, they can find available spaces with a click of a mouse or a swipe on their smart phone.
Route 65 is accessible on all mobile devices and personal computers, and will help seniors and their family members make their own choice for housing or care services. Site users can also choose from a wide range of reputable home health operators for those who are looking to stay at home for as long as possible.
“Older adults can confidently browse for their housing and wellness needs without having to visit multiple websites,” says Fontaine. “Plus, each of the operators listed on Route 65 must sign on to our enhanced Code of Ethics for service delivery.”
Route 65’s target audience also includes family caregivers—particularly those in the “sandwich generation” who are juggling the needs of their immediate family as well as aging parents.
New Westminster resident Hedy O’Connor, 60, retired early to keep up with her responsibilities as a mother as well as a caregiver to her parents. When the time came to find care for her parents, she felt the system let her down.
“Searching for appropriate care for my elderly parents was like navigating a maze of bureaucracy,” says O’Connor. “Locating options is particularly frustrating for people on a limited income, or for those who want to find ways to keep family members together.”
O’Connor’s parents–who have been married for six decades–ended up in two separate sites despite her best efforts to keep them close.
“If my parents ever visit each other, it’s only because I drive my mother over to see my father,” adds O’Connor. “I wish I had Route 65 to help guide me through the process, and provide support and information about the options that are available.”
Route 65’s mobile-friendly website allows visitors to search for seniors living and wellness options in a desired location. Visitors can get a visual tour of a site, and view the number of vacancies, the languages spoken, whether it is LGBTQ2+ inclusive, and learn what hospitality and health care services are available. Additional features include a 24-hour chat bot and a dedicated toll-free customer service helpline which will be open during regular business hours.
EngAge BC is investing over $250,000 to develop the resource and market it to the public over the next three years. There are plans to expand Route 65 service across Canada, subject to the response from users in B.C.
Digital Media and Communications Specialist
About EngAge BC
Established in 2019, EngAge BC has a mandate to support the distinct needs of private pay independent living, assisted living, long-term and home health care operators. EngAge BC is responsible for developing and operating a suite of unique programs and marketing initiatives that support member sites across the province.
About BC Care Providers Association
Established in 1977, the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is the leading voice for B.C.’s continuing care sector. Our growing membership base includes over 340 long-term care, assisted living, home care, home support, independent living, and commercial members from across British Columbia.