Oshawa councillor John Neal hopes a regional appeal to the province won’t fall on deaf ears.
Last fall, Neal was contacted by a 94-year-old World War II veteran who was having trouble finding a bed at a long-term facility.
In response, Neal and his fellow members of regional council called on the province, namely the Central East LHIN, to provide more long-term care beds for veterans, but not at the expense of losing any other beds in the system.
Neal informed The Oshawa Express that he recently found out the veteran had found a bed.
“The good news is he found a bed. The family is just so happy about it,” he says.
However, Neal says just the fact he received the call in the first place is unsettling.
“I couldn’t believe that we didn’t have enough beds for veterans in the community,” he says.
The region received a response from the Central East LHIN in February stating it would be brought to the attention of the board of directors.
According to the Central East LHIN’s monthly report, there were 9,529 beds in this catchment area as of June 2017, with 10,077 people waiting for a bed.
Christine Dainty, manager of communications for the Central East LHIN, says there are currently 17 beds earmarked specifically for veterans in the area.
Five of those beds are located in Durham Region.
Dainty says the process to designate more beds would require input from the LHIN, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as well as Veterans Affairs Canada.
Neal says the number of beds for veterans, particularly in Durham Region, should increase, but once again, reiterated that it should not be at the expense of other seniors.
“There are not enough beds available in our high-demand region,” he says.