Health Sciences North is talking with seniors about plans to help them stay in their homes.

The hospital’s continued care program would see nurses visiting certain patients after they have been discharged.

Dorothy Thomson, a senior who attended the information session, said she liked the approach.

"Most people my age want to be home in our house, sleeping in our own bed," Thomson said. "And it’s best for seniors … to be in our own home [and] not to be in the hospital.

Thomson said she's an example of how the system should work. She was in hospital 12 days and then returned home with some help from a friend.

A 'black hole'

But others aren't so lucky.

"The longer they're in hospital the weaker they get because, you know, they aren't able to move around as much," Thomson said. "I call the health care system ... a black hole because once you get in you never get out."

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Dr. Peter Zalan, president of the medical staff at Health Sciences North, said meeting the needs of an aging population is a top priority.

Hospital officials have said cuts would have to be made elsewhere in the hospital budget to create the programs.

However, Dr. Peter Zalan, president of the medical staff, said meeting the needs of an aging population is a top priority.

"The needs keep going up," Zalan said. "So which ones do we meet and which one's do we not meet?"

The continued care program should be underway this summer.

Another program will offer former patients a 24-hour a day phone line if they need help after discharge — a program the hospital plans to launch in the fall.