37% of seniors in hospital could be at home, LHIN says

The head of the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network says nearly 40 per cent of seniors currently in Windsor hospitals could be at home.

"Their complex conditions are no more severe than those waiting at home," Gary Switzer said.

Switzer said a report released last year found 37 per cent of seniors could be at home waiting for a long-term care bed rather than in hospital, where they take up space normally reserved for acute care.

There are currently more than 110 seniors waiting for long-term care beds while in hospital. Only nine of 2,300 existing long-term care were open in Windsor-Essex on Thursday.

"We do have a problem in Windsor-Essex. There’s significant pressure on the system," Switzer said.

Switzer said he would prefer to see more home care for seniors, rather than have them in hospital or long-term care facilities.

"That's where we need to build our capacity. That’s where they need to be to make the decision about where they want to stay next," Switzer said. "The goal is to allow the seniors to stay at home longer and build capacity in the system."

Switzer didn't detail a plan or cost, though, while he spoke with CBC Windsor's Early Shift on Thursday.

He did say money is only "a short-term fix."

"We have to fix the system," Switzer said. "It’s a race that never ends."

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