Long-term care cri­sis so­lu­tions at hand

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION - RE: Long-term care short­age

All lev­els of gov­ern­ment and hospi­tal ex­ec­u­tives have known about the grow­ing cri­sis in long-term care beds for years. They have cho­sen to do noth­ing about it. One in four beds in acute-care hos­pi­tals taken up with peo­ple who need to be some­where else is scan­dalous. And the cri­sis is grow­ing at an alarm­ing rate. There are so­lu­tions, even at this late date.

One: Build more not-for-profit long-term care fa­cil­i­ties. If we can af­ford a huge state-of-the-art men­tal health fa­cil­ity we can af­ford to build more long-term care fa­cil­i­ties.

Two: Train spe­cial­ized staff to care for de­men­tia pa­tients. Pay them well and make it a re­spected pro­fes­sion.

Three: Al­low peo­ple NOW to make an ad­vance re­quest in their wills to ac­cess as­sisted death when they are in an ad­vanced stage of de­men­tia.

Beds at acute care hos­pi­tals would be freed up to treat acute care pa­tients, EMS would not be wait­ing for hours to off-load pa­tients be­cause there are no beds, it would be more eco­nom­i­cal ($170 per day vs. $800), and it would be more hu­mane. Do it NOW! Les­lie An­der­son, Hamil­ton

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