Move Alberta Seniors Out of Our Hospitals Into Our Communities

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Albertans are spending $60,000 per month on ONE senior living in the hospital instead of 10% of that cost in more appropriate settings such as Personal Care Homes, Assisted Living Facilities or Long Term Care residences in the community.  

Of the approximate 8448 acute care beds available in Alberta almost 1448 of them are taken by frail seniors who don't need to be there, costing Albertans roughly 86.8 Million per month.  Almost one in every five patients in Alberta hospitals are Seniors waiting for care beds in the community. 

Seniors in hospitals are typically NOT sick and do not require acute care but have high personal care needs, require help with daily living and they cannot go home to live on their own.  The more comfortable, affordable and appropriate setting for them is in the community. 

Since 18% of hospitals are occupied by these patients, moving them could immediately create a cost savings of over 18% of the provincial health care budget.  Sadly this level of occupancy has been rising steadily by 2% every year for the past 10 years. In less than 3 years we are projected to hit close to 25% of hospital bed space unnecessarily occupied by these frail and helpless individuals.

Seniors in hospital beds truly are the reason for lack of surgical procedures and emergency room space and long wait times. This very wasteful spending costs taxpayers roughly 2.8 Million dollars PER DAY and 1.3 Billion a year in unnecessary spending.    

To fix the problem? EASY....Allow funding to follow the senior wherever they choose to live OR release an RFP  ("Request for Proposal") whereby not for profit and corporations can cooperate with the government to provide needed bed spaces.  

In spite of many promises by the current government, the last Request for Proposal was released by the NDP in 2018 well over two years ago!  

For years now the AHS Annual Reports have stated that Alberta requires 1000 NEW continuing care beds EVERY YEAR just to keep up with growing demand.  However historically Alberta only produces on average 650 beds per year.  At this rate of delivery and in 5 years time there will be a need of approximately 8079 care beds in Alberta.  

What will this do to our hospital wait times?  Currently those who can afford it are forced into costly private-pay scenarios or they must choose to remain in the hospital indefinitely on long waitlists.     

The ONLY solution to the current crisis is to allow seniors a CHOICE to access public dollars for a setting they choose or to release an RFP providing families with options for a bed in Personal Care Homes, Designated Assisted Living Facilities or Long Term Care residences within their communities. 

It is time to empty out the overcrowded hospitals and efficiently use hospital care dollars to afford our most frail seniors care in community settings.