Saskatoon man seeks nursing home care for dad, 95

A Saskatoon man is in a dispute with the health region over the care his 95-year-old father is receiving.

Health region does not have enough long-term care beds, official says

Tom Armstrong, with a photo of his 95-year-old father Roy. The elderly man was referred by doctors to long term care, but an assessment found he did not meet the criteria for that level of care. (CBC)

A Saskatoon man is in a dispute with the health region over the care his 95-year-old father is receiving.

Tom Armstrong says doctors have told him his father, Roy, requires Level 4 nursing home care.

However, following an assessment, officials from the Saskatoon Health Region have told him the elderly man doesn't meet their criteria for that type of care, even though he has three types of cancer.

"He's had several fainting spells," Armstrong told CBC News, about his father's health. "In the last 10 months, he's been to the hospital in the ambulance 10 times."

The president of the health region, Maura Davies, said Friday that part of the problem is the region does not have enough long-term care beds to meet the needs of the community.

"Because of the high demand for long-term care, the threshold for admission to long term care is quite high," Davies said.

She added staff will continue to talk to Armstrong and his family in an effort to find a solution to the elderly man's health care needs.

"I think there are lots of unmet needs in this province," Davies added. "We do not have adequate resources and programs to meet the needs of our seniors."

According to the region, in Saskatoon more than 100 people are waiting for a long-term care bed right now and the current wait time is one to three months.

Tom Armstrong said his father is still in hospital in Saskatoon, but feeling very low.

"Last night, when I said goodnight to my dad, he said he wished he could die," Armstrong said.

According to the province, the criteria used to assess people referred to long term care is a standardized form that is used throughout Canada.

Saskatchewan has also earmarked funds for urgent long term care needs.

With files from CBC's Kathy Fitzpatrick

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