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Senior claims Vancouver hospital threatened to discharge him to homeless shelter

Click to play video: 'Elderly man claims health care system has abandoned him' Elderly man claims health care system has abandoned him
An elderly man being treated in a Vancouver hospital says he has no place to go, and is worried that he'll be placed in a homeless shelter. Catherine Urquhart reports – Oct 25, 2019

Eighty-year-old Antonios Kripotos has been in and out of hospital for the past six months — treated for renal disease, blood cancer, heart failure and numerous falls.

The Vancouver resident, who is now in Mount Saint Joseph Hospital for treatment of an infection, claims the hospital is now pressuring him to be discharged.

Worse, he says staff even threatened to send him to a homeless shelter.

“I feel very upset, and anxiety. They pressure me to go,” Kripotos told Global News from his hospital bed.

READ MORE: B.C. health minister vows ‘refresh’ of hospital discharge policy after Chilliwack mayor complaints

Kripotos’ daughter Eleni says Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) had offered to place her father in assisted living, then reneged.

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“Vancouver Coastal Health had actually assessed him for assisted living, they said he qualified,” she said. “They had asked us to go tour facilities, which we had done. They then asked us to pick a facility, which we did. They gave us his assisted living rate.

“Then a couple of days later, they had changed their mind and said he was no longer eligible.”

Click to play video: 'Mom grieves after daughter dies following a discharge from Vancouver General Hospital' Mom grieves after daughter dies following a discharge from Vancouver General Hospital
Mom grieves after daughter dies following a discharge from Vancouver General Hospital – Oct 10, 2017

Kripotos says he gave up his apartment, thinking he would move into assisted living.

“I can’t live alone,” he said. “I cannot live alone. I can’t cook. I can’t do cleaning. Nothing.”

In a statement, VCH told Global News they “work through the referral process with clients to support the move to assisted living, and will do so in this case.”

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Providence Health Care wouldn’t comment on specifics of the case in its own statement.

READ MORE: Investigation launched after woman says she was kicked out of Chilliwack hospital

“Patients are discharged from hospital only when they are medically stable and when appropriate supports have been arranged for them in their community,” the statement read.

Late Friday, the family says they were contacted by a social worker who advised them they are working to place Kripotos in assisted living.

Eleni says she’s hopeful her father won’t be forced to leave hospital.

“They’re trying to send him home to a home he doesn’t have,” she said.

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