This is page numbers 6259 – 6290 of the Hansard for the 17th Assembly, 5th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was work.

Topics

Question 837-17(5): Early Childhood Program Review
Oral Questions

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

As I stated earlier, we are compiling all of the program reviews. This Early Childhood Framework is one of them and the universal child care study, the review that’s been undertaken by my department, collecting all of the data, information and compiling all of the information within my department. We are currently reviewing those processes as well.

With respect to the dates, I won’t be able to give an answer today as to when it will be completed, but this will be a transitional document for the new government because it will deal with the new funding. The funding has been identified by the operators, what’s working, what’s not working. So, it will be a part of the transitional document that will be before this House. Mahsi.

Question 837-17(5): Early Childhood Program Review
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. Final, short supplementary, Ms. Bisaro.

Question 837-17(5): Early Childhood Program Review
Oral Questions

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the Minister: I have to say that I am very dismayed. I am quite surprised. This is something that started last September, October, and now we have to wait until the 18th Assembly for any kind of change to

take place. I’m very dismayed. I urge the Minister to get it done sooner. Thank you.

Question 837-17(5): Early Childhood Program Review
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. More of a comment. Mr. Moses.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

May 29th, 2015

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have questions today for the Minister of Health and Social Services in regard to respite care. As I mentioned, when you look at it, respite care is actually more beneficial and could be less cost to government keeping the individuals in their homes rather than having to put them into institutional care, putting them into long-term centres or sending them down south into other institutions that provide services that we don’t have here in the Northwest Territories.

So, my first question to the Minister is: Can I get an update or see what the department is doing for in-home respite care? That’s where people go into the home, more like home care, but on more of a permanent basis. I’m not talking about the aging

population, I’m talking about people who have disabilities, whether they’re mental, physical or have cognitive impairments, and every year we have 216 new cases of diabetes in the Northwest Territories. Those are people who need care, as well, who are not very mobile.

So, I’d like to ask the Minister, what is the department doing for in-home respite care for on more of a permanent basis, not just the home care visits? Thank you.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Moses. Minister of Health, Mr. Abernethy.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to start by just talking about some of the programs that we actually have with respect to respite. I did agree with the Member’s statement. Respite is an incredibly valuable service and I’ve been a supporter of respite services in the Northwest Territories for many years. We do have respite services provided through home care programs, and the NWT Home and Community Care Program provides respite services, mainly for caregivers of adults whose disability is a result of illness or a chronic health condition, while social respite for caregivers of children with complex care needs is often provided, when available, by NGOs in communities.

We do have a number of NGOs that we support. Two NGOs are receiving funding to provide community-based respite services for people living with disabilities. We provide $250,000 of federal funding that’s allocated to the Yellowknife Association for Community Living through the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority for community-based respite in Yellowknife, Detah and Ndilo.

We also provide $227,553 through the GNWT to the NWT Disabilities Council for community-based respite as well. That’s done in Aklavik, Fort Smith and Deline. On top of that, the NWT Disabilities Council does get some additional funding through some of the individual authorities to provide community-based respite service for people living with disabilities in communities like Hay River, Inuvik and Paulatuk. We also have some respite beds within our long-term care facilities that are available for families who need a bit of a break.

There are other things we are doing. I did speak earlier today about the companion booklet for caregivers being developed to provide information and assistance to families who are providing care for individuals in these situations.

This isn’t enough. We need to continue to do more. We need to continue to improve our services. To that end, we are going to be providing a pilot for a flexible respite model to do the exact thing the Member is talking about. This hasn’t yet been operationalized. We will maybe call to the

authorities to see which authorities are interested in being part of that pilot. We pilot with one authority and we are hoping to get into one or two communities. This is a two-year pilot and it will help us inform how we provide respite services or how we support respite services moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

I’m glad to hear of all the services that are provided. In particular to the question I was asking is what is the department doing for in-home respite services? If somebody has a cognitive impairment or has a physical disability where they’re not able to get out and they need that longer-term service and it’s putting a lot of stress on the family, what is the department doing for the person who is home all day and providing services for several hours of the day? Do we have a program set up and is the department looking at addressing that? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

There are a couple of different ways, as I articulated previously. There is the Home Care Program where we can have individuals go in, but it is limited and it’s not in all communities. We are looking through this pilot to find ways to expand that out to more communities, but we need more time to do the assessment.

There are also the NGOs. We should be incredibly proud of the work the NGOs are doing, whether it’s YACL or the NWT Disabilities Council. They can provide respite services exactly as the Member is describing for individuals in certain communities. They are always looking for ways to push out to the other communities and they have been working very closely with the authorities and the authorities continue to do what they can. I believe the pilot is going to give us the information we need and give us the opportunity to roll out this flexible respite model. I also strongly encourage the Member to promote the Caregivers Handbook, which provides people with a lot of resources on how they can have positive experiences, provide support to their family members and also take care of themselves. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

I have always been a strong supporter of the Disabilities Council and I’m glad there is funding that our government provides to do some of these services.

I want to ask the Minister, has he had any talks with these NGOs on how they are spending their dollars in terms of in-home respite for people who are stuck in the house with these disabilities? Has he talked to the NGOs and if they are providing those types of services? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

I have a fairly decent relationship with the NWT Disabilities Council. We meet on a fairly regular basis to talk about the different programming they are providing and how we can work together, and we have been able to work together on many fronts. I also know the

department monitors and follows up on the contributions they are providing, to see if the services are being met. All this information is going to be important moving forward to enhance this pilot to see how we can actually move out to the communities where we aren’t getting the respite services the Member is describing. We do need the time to complete this pilot and we’re looking forward to moving forward with that pilot. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Abernethy. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Moses.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member’s statement I mentioned we also need support for the support workers. I also mentioned in eight communities we don’t have nurses, which is a big challenge for elders and people living with disabilities.

So, I want to ask the Minister, what is his department doing in the recruitment and retention of home care staff that we have in the Northwest Territories right now? Is he looking to recruit more home care workers so they get a break as well? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

It’s no surprise we suffer some challenges around recruitment and retention of health professionals on all levels of the Northwest Territories. We’ve recently developed the NWT Health and Social Services Strategic Human Resource Plan to help us increase our effectiveness of recruitment and retention of health professionals.

We’re also supporting training of resident care aids and other positions for things like the Norman Wells long-term care facility so we can get more people into communities. This training is something that could be used for other positions as well. We wanted to continue to find ways to train local people, support local people, but in those communities where we don’t have nurses, we also do send nurses in on a fairly regular basis to do assessments on seniors and other people in the communities to ensure their needs are being met. We will continue to actively recruit and train, where appropriate. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 838-17(5): Respite Care Services
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Abernethy. Member for Weledeh, Mr. Bromley.