A Nova Scotia family is speaking out, frustrated by the long wait lists to get their mother into a nursing home.

Faye Logan is by her mother Muriel’s side any chance she can get. Muriel was diagnosed with dementia more than a year ago and Logan has been her mother’s main caregiver since then.

“It’s a hard job. You almost can’t have another job to do this,” says the Prospect, N.S. resident.  

But Logan does have a job, and has to juggle taking care of her mom with her work everyday.

Muriel has been on a waiting list to get into a nursing home for over a year, and Logan says they could easily be waiting for another full year– a taxing reality on the whole family.

“We need to keep investing in home care,” says Janice Keefe, professor of gerontology and director of the Nova Scotia Centre of Aging.

“We need to keep investing in families, in caregivers, to help them provide the support they want to.”

Capital Health says nursing homes are so full that patients are occupying hospital beds while they wait for a spot to open up.

“People who do not understand say ‘why don’t you put your mother in a home?’” says Logan.

“That’s when it gets frustrating. It’s frustrating for people who don’t understand the disease and what you go through.”

In November, the Nova Scotia government announced $4 million over two years to help move patients from hospitals into their homes.

“You should not accept your father or mother being discharged from the hospital when you don’t have mechanisms in place,” says Alex Handyside, president of ScotiaCare Homecare and Caregivers.

“It is not fair to families because the hospital is short of acute care beds.”

Capital Health says patients are being treated properly before being discharged, but admits the bed shortage is a longstanding issue, and code census calls – an emergency procedure to help deal with overcrowding – are being made as a result.

“We’re always running near capacity for those beds,” says Capital Health spokesman John Gillis. “So, we get a buildup in the emergency room and it limits their ability to see new people who are coming all the time.”

Five code census calls have been made between the Dartmouth General Hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre this week alone.

Double that amount was made in November, but October saw a high number, with 31 code census calls.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Felicia Yap