Marketers with privately run seniors' residences are appealing to those who need a safe space to recuperate after hospital stays.

Southwind and Westmount seniors' homes in Sudbury report 10 to 15 people a year opt for these short stays.

Those people pay upwards of $100 per day for a safe space where they can recover before going home.

But it's not the solution Pat Douglas wanted for her mother.

nursing-home306x172

There are more programs than ever for older people needing interim health care, says an official with the Northeast Local Health Integration Network. ((istock))

Douglas said her 90-year-old mother suffered a minor stroke recently and has trouble seeing.

“I was bent and determined I was going to keep my mother in her home, but I needed help. And I had no other family here,” she said.

Douglas found help with a local non-profit called I-CAN: or Independence Centre and Network.

Workers visit her mother's house to help with some chores and meals and also provide some temporary residential programs.

Helping in the transition from hospital to home

The Northeast LHIN helps funds I-CAN. The LHIN’s director of policy, Terry Tilleczek, said there are more programs than ever for older people needing interim health care.

As a result, the number of acute care hospital beds occupied by frail seniors has been cut in half, from 30 per cent to 15.   

Douglas, who is also the chair of the local chapter of Canadian Association of Retired People, said an increasing number of publicly funded programs exist to help seniors transition between hospital and home.

But now is the time — before the aging population grows — to implement more measures, she said.

“We're at the point where we need family physicians to do home calls, home visits. My mother's doctor won't do that.”

Douglas said she would also like to see a seniors' advocate appointed to look after those who don't have relatives to help.

In the meantime, privately run residences continue to provide options for those who need them.

The general manager of Southwind and Westmount seniors' residences in Sudbury said 4-5 seniors choose the residences as a home away from home during the winter each year.

Lisa Brule noted the demand is even higher for short stays as people recuperate from illness and injury.

“We have quite a few people that will take this up, you know the demands on the hospital,” she said. “Often time people are leaving [the hospital] before they can manage at home.”