Watch above: Man says father is falling through the cracks when it comes to Sask. senior care homes
SASKATOON – Tom Armstrong holds a picture of his father Roy, a World War II veteran, who is known for making people laugh.
The 95-year-old has bone, bladder and prostate cancer – and to make matters worse he’s ensnared in limbo.
“They told us of this grey area. And that’s the time spent between a care home and a nursing home,” explained Armstrong.
“There’s no place for him to live in. If anything, he’ll go to Saskatoon City Hospital to the transition ward.”
Armstrong said a doctor deemed his dad to be at ‘level four’, the highest category of need in long-term care, but the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) said it’s not required.
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Cam Broten said the province is facing a ‘seniors care crisis.’
“It’s been repeated in so many places across Saskatchewan. There are so many families who are settling for a type of care for their loved ones that’s unacceptable,” said Broten.
“Because of the high demand for long-term care, the threshold for admission to long-term care is quite high,” explained Maura Davies, SHR president and CEO.
“There are lots of unmet needs in this province. So we do not have adequate resources and programs to meet the needs of our seniors.”
As of this week, she said there are 102 people waiting for long-term care in the city.
“They may be waiting in hospital, or they may be waiting in community. In addition, we have others, dozens, literally, waiting to be assessed,” said Davies.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health released the following statement:
“The government continues to invest in building new long-term care spaces and replacing older infrastructure. This year’s Ministry of Health Budget includes funding for additional long-term care beds in Prince Albert, as well as planning dollars for long-term care projects in Regina and La Ronge.”
The ministry added it has spent $8 million upgrading Saskatoon’s Parkridge Centre.
Despite the spending, Armstrong said the province isn’t meeting seniors’ needs and it’s taken its toll on his family.
“He’s tired. They’re killing him. They’re killing us. They’re exhausting our family.”