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In British Columbia, there are a range of care and support options for people having difficulty coping with activities of daily living because of health-related problems or a life-threatening illness available from both publicly subsidized and private pay service providers.


Gemstone is one of many Contracted Service Partners within Interior Health and we provide 125 residential care beds for the healthcare system to serve seniors in the Kamloops and surrounding areas. The remaining 5 residential care beds at Gemstone that are not under government contract are available for private pay services. Information about our private pay services can be found here.

As a Contracted Service Partner, Gemstone has committed to providing safe resident care. Our resident-centered philosophy is designed to support residents’ choices, help people function at their highest level and provide the best quality of life possible. The BC Residents’ Bill of Rights promotes health, safety and dignity and supports the social, cultural, religious, spiritual and other rights of residents.

The services that are contracted by Interior Health include:

  • Standard accommodation with 24-hour nursing and personal care
  • Safe and secure living environment
  • Medication supervision and administration
  • Development and maintenance of personal care plans
  • Clinical support services such as rehabilitation and social work services consistent with the care plan
  • Planned physical, social and recreational activities
  • Nutritious meals, including therapeutic meals as ordered, and meal replacements
  • Laundry services for clothing that is suitable for commercial laundry procedures only and that does not require any special handling or care
  • General hygiene supplies
  • Routine medical supplies and standard incontinence management
  • Short stays for respite, convalescence or palliative care

We encourage our clients to join our Resident and Family Council which is made up of persons who either live at Gemstone or are friends and relatives of Gemstone residents. The Council facilitates improved communication and collaboration between family members and facility staff and management.


Publicly Subsidized Home & Community Care Services are accessed through your regional/local health authority. These services are available to individuals/representatives who meet general provincial eligibility criteria. To be eligible, you must agree to participate in a formal assessment that is conducted by the health authority and be assessed as having needs that can be met by the available services. The services are subsidized by the Ministry of Health and administered and delivered by the regional/local health authorities and other contracted providers (such as Gemstone). It is important to note that while individual preference for service is considered, the individual’s need as determined by a formal assessment is the primary consideration in determining which service is provided.

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Private pay residential care services are paid for by the resident and not funded by Interior Health or the province.  An assessment by Interior Health staff is not needed for admission to a private pay residence. Each individual can shop and compare for services that best meet their needs and preferences and all aspects of service provision are agreed to by the individual and the service provider.

There are many private pay residences to choose from, each offering a variety of services and features. Some residences have both publicly subsidized and private pay rooms. Approximate care costs, overall affordability and the type of care required should be carefully considered when choosing a private pay residence. It is best to contact these residences directly for detailed information about availability, costs and services. You can contact the BC Care Providers Association or visit The Care Guide website to find additional listings and information.

It is important to note that the Government does not provide any financial assistance to individuals or service providers for privately purchased services. As well, choosing to pay privately on a temporary basis at a particular facility does not guarantee you will be transferred to a subsidized bed in the same building but it also does not restrict your ability to qualify for publicly subsidized services. Qualification is based on government eligibility requirements.

Click here for more information about Gemstone’s private pay services.

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The Community Care and Assisted Living Act replaced the Community Care Facility Act in 2004. The Act continues to provide licensing for community care facilities that offer care to vulnerable people in child day care, child and youth residential and adult residential settings. It also establishes a new registration process for assisted living residences that accommodate seniors and persons with disabilities who receive housing, hospitality, personal assistance services and can direct their own care.

In addition, the Act provides information about the powers and duties of MHOs. Under the Act, an MHO may issue, suspend, or attach terms or conditions to a license, and vary terms or conditions of that license without notice if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that there is an immediate risk to the health or safety of a person in care.

Further, an MHO must investigate every application and every complaint, carry out inspections, and perform additional duties during the administration of the Act. An MHO may grant an exemption from a requirement of the Act or regulation, provided that there is no increased risk to health or safety of a person or persons in care.

For more information on the Community Care and Assisted Living Act:


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Residential Care is the BC Ministry of Health term for what you may know as Long Term Care, Extended Care, Nursing Home Care or Geriatric Care Facility.

When you are no longer able to stay at home with assistance, your local Home Health and Community Care office is available to assist you with options. Interior Health believes the best quality of life is achieved by remaining in one’s own home environment for as long as possible. To this end, the Home Health and Community Care Case Manager will complete an assessment and help you explore options that will allow you to manage in your home.

Ultimately, access to residential care is based on a person’s assessed need and risk. Residential Care is for adults with complex health care needs requiring 24-hour professional care due to physical disability or mental or behavioral conditions, including brain injuries or dementia.

All residential care facilities in British Columbia must provide care that meets established standards. The Interior Health Community Care Licensing office ensures these standards are met.

For more information on Residential Care in B.C click here.

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The search for a residential care bed that best meets your needs starts as soon as the Case Manager completes your assessment. Interior Health aims to locate the first appropriate bed in your home or neighboring community.

It is important to let the Case Manager know if you experience changes in your health while waiting for a bed.

To locate the nearest Home and Community Care Office click here.

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BC’s residential access policy ensures people with the most need have priority for the first appropriate bed in a residential care facility. The time between being notified of a vacancy and moving into a residence is often very short - within 24 to 48 hours - therefore, it is necessary to organize for the move in advance.

Interior Health will let you know when an appropriate bed becomes available. Immediately following this notification you should contact the residence to find out:

  • what transportation arrangements are needed
  • who should come to help with admission
  • what belongings and furnishings can be taken
  • what personal items are needed and how to label them
  • what are the facilities policies regarding belongings, pets, mail, religious beliefs or other pertinent concerns

For more information on Preparing to Move to Residential Care click here.

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Health Protection Services’ goal is to provide transparency to the public by posting substantiated complaints regarding licensed long term care facilities.

If a complaint is found to be valid and contravenes the applicable Act/Regulations, it is listed on the Substantiated Complaints in Senior’s Care Facilities.

Visit our Terms and Definitions of Complaint Categories or Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  If you have further questions, please contact Licensing Direct.

Have a complaint or concern?

If you have a health and safety concern or complaint about a licensed care facility, please contact Licensing Direct.

Phone: 1-877-980-5118; 8:30am - 4:30pm PST
Email: Contact us by email

Fax: 250-868-7760
Mail: 1340 Ellis Street, Kelowna BC   V1Y 9N1

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Please find below other resources and tools available that may be helpful for you to navigate through the healthcare system.

  1. Ministry of Health - Planning for Your Care Needs: Help in Selecting a Residential Care Facility
  2. Ministry of Health - B.C Seniors Guide

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