09/24/2012 05:09 EDT | Updated 08/12/2013 02:25 EDT

B.C. NDP Demands More Long-Term Care Beds


The B.C. New Democrats are joining the family of a former Burnaby city councillor to demand more long-term care beds for those with Alzheimer's disease and other chronic illnesses.

Former councillor Douglas Evans has Alzheimer's disease. His family says the 83-year-old got lost several months ago and ended up in the emergency ward at Burnaby General Hospital under heavy medication because residential or long-term care options do not exist.

The family says Evans’s has health deteriorated since he was admitted to the hospital, where he contracted pneumonia and C. difficile.

NDP health critic Mike Farnworth says the case shows more long-term care beds are needed.

"The acute care hospital isn't where Mr. Evans should've been," Farnworth said.

"This particular case, I think, illustrates the challenges that we've got to start addressing in our health care system, that it's not just about the acute care, but about chronic disease management. And that means we've got to have the appropriate facilities for people with Alzheimer’s."

Farnworth also wants better supports for people who are taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer's in their own homes.

But B.C. Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid said Monday that the issue is being addressed.

"There are currently 32,000 long term care beds in B.C., 22 per cent more than a decade ago."

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