Work in Seniors Care and Living

B.C.'s care economy today

While the vast majority of British Columbia’s older adults – about 93% – live independently, those who can no longer cope with activities of daily living because of health-related problems or serious illness must find care and support services.

B.C. is home to 308 long-term care homes that together provide round-the-clock professional care and supervision to 33,000 seniors with complex care needs. Other than long-term care, elderly British Columbians have their care and housing needs met through home support, assisted living, and independent living. 

There is, however, an emerging aging crisis in Canada, accompanied by a severe shortage of health care workers to provide safe and quality care to older adults who need it.

What’s to come

By 2030, one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65. And British Columbia is experiencing the fastest rate of growth of seniors compared to any other province in Canada. It is estimated that by 2031, seniors will make up 24% of B.C’s total population. 

The Conference Board of Canada shows that in order to meet demand, B.C. will need 31,000 additional long-term care beds by 2035. 

Seniors’ care and living is gearing up to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in B.C.’s economy over the next five years. This growth will be accompanied by 32,600 nursing and long-term care job openings over the next 10 years. 

Why you’re needed

Even prior to COVID-19, Canada projected a need for over 175,000 new health care assistants and 225,000 nurses over the next decade. During this time, care homes will also be looking to hire support services workers to assist in the delivery of care to their residents. 

B.C. relies heavily on immigrant workers to care for its elderly population, and immigration can help fill the current and coming labour demand in the seniors’ care workforce. Without newcomers to the country, there will be fewer working-age Canadians to take care of its rapidly aging population.

For these reasons and many more, careers in the care economy are an appealing option for newcomers in Canada.

Why pursue a career in seniors’ care and living

Be a health care hero - The integral role healthcare workers play in our society particularly as our population ages cannot be understated. B.C. needs more health care heroes to care for our frail and elderly population both today and tomorrow. 

Enjoy a rewarding career - Caring for seniors is a fulfilling profession that matters. While supporting frail and elderly clients, you can help them maintain a level of independence and improve their quality of life. You can make a difference every day, and build meaningful relationships with your residents/clients. 

Jobs are widely available - Over the next 10 years, B.C. will need over 30,000 additional seniors’ care workers to support its elderly population. Employers in communities across the province are looking to fill job vacancies in their seniors’ care and living organizations.

Find flexible work arrangements - Casual, part-time, and full-time work schedules are available in seniors’ care organizations with a variety of flexible options. Choose from day, evening, night, and weekend shift schedules.

Get competitive pay & benefits - Begin your career in Canada by earning a living wage — the average starting wage in the seniors' care sector is $21/hour with benefits. 

Earn while you learn - Gain valuable experience in non-clinical support roles while studying to pursue your dream career as a care aide, nurse, or allied health professional.

Career options in seniors’ care and living

The seniors’ care and living sector offers diverse career paths to newcomers in B.C. and Canada. 

While health care assistants (HCAs), registered nurses (RNs), and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) make up a majority of the clinical roles in seniors’ care organizations, allied health professionals such as physiotherapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), therapeutic recreation assistants, rehabilitation assistants, social workers, and dietitians/nutritionists provide vital health services to residents.  

In addition to clinical roles, support services workers are also in demand. From health care support workers, home health companions, cooks, chefs, and dietary aides to janitors, housekeeping, and laundry aides, care homes are looking to hire workers who can support the delivery of care and support services to their clients. 

Seniors’ care and living homes also employ office workers like receptionists and administrative assistants to oversee the day-to-day administrative functions at their sites. There are also many business and administrative roles, in fields such as marketing, finance, human resources, and more. 

Learn more about occupations in seniors’ care and living here