British Columbia's government will spend $500 million over the next four years to improve care for seniors, including increasing the direct services the elderly receive at residential care facilities.

Health Minister Terry Lake says the plan will allow provincial health authorities to provide more than three hours of daily direct care to seniors in public and private residential care facilities.

B.C. has more than 32,000 seniors care beds at residential and assisted-living facilities.

Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.'s senior's advocate, says the plan means 7,000 extra hours to care for seniors every day.

She says she expects the plan will result in more baths, walks and bathroom breaks for seniors.

Judy Darcy, the Opposition New Democrat health critic, says after 16 years of neglecting seniors, the government has decided to spend $500 million barely two months before the start of the election campaign.

Daniel Fontaine, executive officer for the B.C. Care Providers Association, calls the funding a pivotal moment for seniors and their families.