“You need more beds:” Thousands of area seniors waiting for long-term care

More than 3,200 seniors are waiting for long-term care in Hamilton and Burlington.

The backlog is contributing to high numbers of blocked hospital beds with nearly one in four at St. Joseph’s Healthcare alone taken up by patients waiting for other types of care.

It is also making it increasingly hard for those not in crises to get a bed. More than 85 per cent of the 1,143 seniors admitted to long-term care from April to December were in crisis.

It means only 27 seniors in Burlington and 132 in Hamilton got a long-term-care bed without a crisis designation during that time.

“You need more beds in this area,” said Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. “Something must be done today in order to meet the needs.”

She was at Arbour Creek long-term-care centre in Hamilton Thursday calling on the government to start creating more beds now as the need is only expected to go up, as the OLTCA predicts the number of seniors in Hamilton to grow by over 40 per cent in the next 10 years.

Read the rest at the The Hamilton Spectator.