Ailing seniors being turned away from seniors care homes

95-year-old Roy Armstrong has bone, bladder and prostate cancer and struggles to walk and feed himself after two heart attacks – but the government says Armstrong is too fit to take up a space in a seniors care home.

The situation is familiar to too many Saskatchewan families, and is a result of the government continuing to ignore the seniors care crisis, according to the NDP.

After suffering a second heart attack, Armstrong is in Royal University Hospital with nowhere to go.

He had to give up his space in a personal care home after his first heart attack because his condition became too deteriorated for the level of care offered there. But, he has been told by the government that, because Roy can walk somewhat and dress himself, he’s too healthy for a space in long-term care.

Armstrong’s son, Tom Armstrong, said a doctor deemed his dad to be at “level four,” the highest category of need in long-term care, but health region officials told him government protocols and directives had overruled the doctor’s recommendation. The family appealed to the health ministry, but was turned away again this week.

“An appropriate place to live and decent care is not too much to ask for. Far too many seniors are not getting that under this government and that's not acceptable,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “There aren’t enough spaces for those seniors in need, and what is available is understaffed and underequipped. It’s disgusting that this government continues to ignore this seniors care crisis while Roy and so many others like him suffer.”

Broten and the Armstrong family want to know why a doctor’s assessment seems to have been railroaded by the government’s policies and bureaucracy.