Glen Abernethy: Continuing Care Services Action Plan

Delivered on September 26, 2017

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that later today, I will be tabling the Continuing Care Services Action Plan.

The Continuing Care Services Action Plan builds on the seven priorities of the 2014 Strategic Framework, Our Elders: Our Communities, and on our mandate commitment to take action so that NWT Seniors can age in place and live in their own homes and communities for as long possible.

We are also committed to ensuring that adequate supports are available for those who can no longer do so.

Furthermore, our mandate commits us to develop an action plan for enhanced home and community care and palliative care, and to propose a regulatory framework for long-term care.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to let you know that the Continuing Care Services Action Plan sets the foundation to deliver on all of these mandated commitments.

Our government values the importance of the wisdom, knowledge, and experience that Seniors and Elders bring to our communities. They provide the foundation for the rich cultural heritage and traditional knowledge that defines the unique character of the Northwest Territories.

First and foremost, the Continuing Care Services Action Plan provides a roadmap to ensure Elders and Seniors remain in their homes as long as possible, allowing them to maintain their respected place within our communities, and contribute to our vision of community wellness.

The Action Plan also acknowledges that it is essential that we care for our Elders who can no longer remain in their homes by making high quality long-term care services available.

Whether they reside in their homes or in a long-term care facility, our government is committed to providing Seniors and Elders with the most responsive, culturally safe and efficient health care possible.

Mr. Speaker this is not the first time that I have discussed the importance of supporting our Seniors and Elders in this House. It is a topic that residents have consistently indicated is a priority and that Members have supported action on. With this in mind, I would like to elaborate on our approach to structuring this important work

The Continuing Care Services Action Plan sets out five key objectives in moving our vision forward. Our first group of actions aims to optimize healthy aging so that Seniors and Elders can lead active and independent lives. The second objective is to improve home and community care and caregiver supports to sustain aging in place. The third set of actions will improve long-term care and equitable access to this essential care service. The fourth objective of the Action Plan focuses on enhancing Palliative Care, providing NWT residents with options, dignity, comfort and access to palliative care when and where they need it. Finally, the fifth objective demands that we strive to provide culturally safe and high quality continuing care across the continuum of services.

This Action Plan recognizes that we are most successful when we work collaboratively as government, community, and non-profit partners. Working with groups such as the NWT Recreation and Parks Association, Aurora College, the NWT Association of Communities, the NWT Seniors Society and the Alzheimer’s Society enables us to achieve greater outcomes than working alone.  Many activities within the Action Plan require us to partner with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs and the NWT Housing Corporation.  Mr. Speaker, we are looking forward to working closely with those departments and partners to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for Seniors and Elders.

The Continuing Care Services Action Plan will guide the initiatives required to ensure that Seniors and Elders are given the best possible opportunity to age in their place of choice.

This Action Plan works to achieve the Department of Health and Social Services vision and goals of Best Health, Best Care, for a Better Future, strengthens our vision of healthy communities, and puts into action our mandate goals and priorities

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.