This is page numbers 4757 - 4776 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 3rd 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 going. View the webstream of the day's session.

Topics

Question 527-18(3): Seniors Aging in Place
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

I'm aware that homecare can be applied in houses that are owned by the NWT Housing Corporation for seniors' housing, but the main target group, as I see it, would be the homeowners. I would like to ask the Minister if there is any plan to budget any actual money? Maybe it would be a better way to ask: is any money actually put in place to allow seniors to age in place in their home in their communities?

Question 527-18(3): Seniors Aging in Place
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

It is my understanding that the Housing Corporation is actually working on that exact initiative to find ways to support homeowners who need to do retrofits to help individuals age in place. Related through Health and Social Services, we can have occupational therapists, when there is a referral, come into people's homes and help them with other supports to help support activities of daily living, to identify the types of grab bars and other things that might be valuable or alternatives to ramps and those types of things. So occupational therapy, upon referral, can go into communities to help make those assessments.

Question 527-18(3): Seniors Aging in Place
Oral Questions

Page 4765

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 527-18(3): Seniors Aging in Place
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is really an initiative or a mandate that requires good timing. The mandate says taking action so that seniors can age in place, so, according to the mandate that we set out four years ago, we should actually have seniors aging in place in their homes right now, but we do not, and we are just crossing the last budget. I am asking if the money is going to be used from homecare now in order to hire new staff so that we can expand homecare, so we can allow seniors to age in place, so we can meet that mandate. That is an important mandate. I think the federal government knew that when they put $6 billion into homecare when they were elected. So I would like to ask the Minister again: will there be new staff, new money, put into the field of homecare, targeted at our mandate of aging in place?

Question 527-18(3): Seniors Aging in Place
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thanks to the Members, earlier in this Assembly we actually put $1.5 million, and some additional dollars as well, into the creation of new homecare positions throughout the Northwest Territories. We have struggled to fill all those positions, but those positions have been created. We are also moving forward with an initiative to support aging in place through family and paid community caregivers. We are getting ready to roll that pilot out as we speak. It should be out early in the new year. I also understand that we already have the CARE Mobility program in place, which is where homeowners can apply for money to make upgrades to their homes to help them age in place. We have the ability for our occupational therapists, upon referral, to go in and help individuals determine what kind of supports they might need in their homes to help them age in place.

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to supporting those who age in place. We are currently in the middle of the homecare review, which we anticipate will be completed on March 31st. That will help us make informed decisions on where additional resources need to go, but it will also give us the ability to refocus the dollars we have into areas that are actually going to make a direct impact.

As I mentioned earlier, we have put in a number of home support positions as a result of the budget that the Members supported. We are having some difficulty in some of our communities filling those positions, and I am certainly willing to and I will be reaching out to the leadership in those communities soon to figure out how we can work together to fill those positions. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 527-18(3): Seniors Aging in Place
Oral Questions

Page 4765

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 528-18(3): Caregiver Program
Oral Questions

February 7th, 2019

Page 4765

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad to have the opportunity to just ask a couple more questions, a little bit of a change. I want to thank the Minister for the responses. I appreciate that. However, I would like to ask about the caregiver program. The Minister just mentioned the caregiver program. The caregiver program could be a huge part of aging in place. I would like to ask the Minister if there has been some sort of program developed for caregivers. Thank you.

Question 528-18(3): Caregiver Program
Oral Questions

Page 4765

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 528-18(3): Caregiver Program
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we are moving forward with a pilot on that particular initiative, family and/or community caregivers. There are a number of different opportunities how this might roll out in the future. We want to test a couple of those, so we are going to be moving forward with a number of initiatives in different communities to test that exact principle. From there, we will be able to build a business case in whichever model seems to be the most effective so that we can build a business case to roll out at a territorial level. We are looking to go out in pilot on April 1st. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 528-18(3): Caregiver Program
Oral Questions

Page 4765

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 529-18(3): Funding for Homecare Services
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Following up on my colleague's questions, I have a general question about homecare funding as represented in yesterday's budget. The budget seems to indicate a significant decrease, of more than a million dollars, in homecare spending, and I am wondering if the Minister can tell us how that relates to the answers he just gave to my colleague. Thank you.

Question 529-18(3): Funding for Homecare Services
Oral Questions

Page 4765

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 529-18(3): Funding for Homecare Services
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, earlier in this Assembly, we had a large amount of money put into homecare. We used those monies to create a number of positions. There was more money allocated than the positions that we had identified, and we had been trying to use those monies for different programs.

Unfortunately, there was $600,000 that was lapsing. Recognizing that we were going to be lapsing the $600,000 in this coming fiscal year, we had to make a decision on where we could get best bang for buck on those dollars, and it was decided to put them in, for this fiscal year, to Child and Family Services, which is an area where we are experiencing some significant difficulties.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, that is not the only pot of money that we have. We have been working very closely with the federal government, and we are anticipating making a number of significant announcements over the next couple of weeks on areas where we are going to be investing in homecare with federal support, which will offset some of those dollars that we are now focusing into Child and Family Services.

Question 529-18(3): Funding for Homecare Services
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Minister's answer. What I heard him say is that there was more money than there were positions filled. If I have that right, could he tell us how specifically he is going to strengthen recruitment for homecare?

Question 529-18(3): Funding for Homecare Services
Oral Questions

Page 4765

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

I am not sure that's exactly what I said. We created a large number of positions as a result of that budget, but not all of those resources were specifically for positions. When it comes to recruitment, we filled most of the positions, but, in some of our communities, we have gone out time and time again and we haven't had any success. I have had conversations with a couple of the MLAs about the challenges that we are facing in the regions, and we will be reaching out to leadership here shortly to find out if there is any opportunity to work with them to identify people in the communities who can do these home support worker positions so that we can provide training on the job to fill those.