Seniors are waiting for home care to leave the hospital

On May 30th, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released a report, Common Challenges, Shared Priorities, which spoke to how Canada’s health systems are faring when it comes to how many Canadians:

  • are hospitalized because of harm caused by substance use;
  • seek frequent emergency room (ER) care for help with mental health and/or addictions;
  • have their hospital stay extended because the right home and community care services and supports are not ready.

The news release issued by CIHI indicated the following:

  • More than 90 per cent of hospital patients had access to home care services as soon as they were ready to be discharged from hospital. But one in 12 had their stay extended because the services or supports were not ready.
    • This is the equivalent of three large hospitals filled each day with people who did not need hospital care.
  • A typical extended stay was seven days or less, but one in 10 extended stays was 39 days or more.

The report also indicated that elderly women and people with dementia are most likely to experience extended stays.

“This information signals that we are headed in a troubling direction. If Canadians are already waiting in hospitals as home care is being arranged, we can expect the situation to be much worse as the population ages,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine.

“This is a complex issue and will require a multifaceted solution. However, one action we can take immediately is to implement a health human resource strategy which focuses on ensuring that there are enough workers to ensure adequate support for seniors,” Fontaine adds.