October 15, 2014 1:08 am
Updated: October 16, 2014 2:24 pm

By the numbers: A closer look at continuing care in Alberta

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WATCH ABOVE: Su-Ling Goh has an in-depth look at how Alberta’s current continuing care system works.

EDMONTON – On Tuesday, the province announced it will open 464 continuing care spaces across Alberta. But how does that stack up to the spaces already in place? We break it down for you.

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First, though, let’s clarify some terms. Despite how some use the term ‘continuing care,’ it is not synonymous for long-term care.

Continuing care is an umbrella term that includes everything from home care, to supportive living and long-term care.

Long-term care, on the other hand, always takes place in a facility and involves patients with complex medical needs who require registered nurses.

Supportive living can vary widely. It’s usually in a facility, and typically requires only LPNs (licensed practical nurses). Dementia patients, for instance, who are relatively healthy and can still walk can be in supportive living. When they need a wheelchair full-time, they move to long term care.

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How many continuing care beds are there currently in Alberta?

Overall, there are a total of 23,172 continuing care beds in the province. This figure includes 14,321 long-term care spaces (province-wide).

How many people in Alberta hospitals are waiting for continuing care placement?

  • 740 (as of August 2014). Of those patients, one-third (283) are in the Calgary Zone, and 240 are in the Edmonton Zone.

While these numbers fluctuate, if you compare province-by-province, AHS officials says Alberta ranks among the lowest in the country in regards to days spent in what’s called ‘alternate-level-of-care’.

What’s the average wait time in Alberta for a continuing care bed?

Last year it was 31 days, down from a 54 day wait in 2010-11, according to AHS.

How many people were placed into continuing care spaces from hospitals in 2013?

  • 5,522 people, which AHS says is a gain of 571 placements in three years.

How many long-term spaces are there in Edmonton and Calgary?

  • 4,963 long term care spaces in the Calgary Zone
  • 4,957 long term care spaces in Edmonton Zone (as of Sept. 30, 2014)

READ MORE: Breakdown of new continuing care beds being added across the province

 

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