A shortage of affordable housing for seniors is reaching a state of crisis in Calgary, advocates say.

Arlene Adamson, CEO of Silvera for Seniors — a non-profit affordable housing provider, said her organization’s waitlist has more than doubled in the last three years.

“We talk about the 650 on the waitlist. But we have a tsunami behind that,” she said.

With the population both growing and aging, Adamson said the only solution is to build more facilities.

“This is a complex issue, we need a quick response. We need to be thinking ahead for the next 50 years,” she said.

For about a year, Rose Stasuik's 78-year-old father was shuffled among three hospitals while he waited for a place in an affordable housing complex.

Stressful times for families

“It was really stressful,” she said.

The worst point was when he was sent to High River for nine months, she said, because his daughters could only get out for visits on the weekends. The isolation left him feeling depressed, said Stasuik.

“He would call us and he'd be crying."

Stasuik's story is not uncommon, according to Adamson.

“For families who are struggling right now, it's heart-wrenching,” she said.

Stasuik said her father is finally in an affordable housing unit, and doing well.

“He's stable, he's happy … [and] he's made friends. You can really tell because he's participating in the activities, he looks forward to the next day's activities,” she said.