VANCOUVER, B.C. - The B.C. government is bringing in tougher
regulations for residential care homes that will make operators more
accountable with their hiring practices, incident reporting and
ensuring people don't wander off.



Healthy Living Minister Mary Polak said seniors,
disabled people, those with special needs and children living in such
facilities will now be better protected with the new regulations. "We
all want our loved ones to receive the best possible care," Polak said
in a news release.



The minister said the regulations are part of ongoing work to build the best system of support in Canada.


The B.C. Coroner's Service has said an inquest may be
held in the freezing death of an 84-year-old woman outside a care home
in Kamloops last December.

Juliette Bombardier froze to death after leaving from an unlocked door at the Pine Grove care centre last Boxing Day.

Polak said the regulations will include measures to
prevent falls, ban smoking by staff on the premises of care facilities
and strengthen health and hygiene to prevent disease.

Susan House, executive director of the Denominational Health Association, said they welcome new rules around protecting seniors.

"When a senior is at risk of wandering, our first
priority is to have the appropriate plan in place for their safety and
security," House said.

The regulations will come into effect in October to allow for staff training.