GNWT continues planning for future long-term care needs

February 29, 2016
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (February 29, 2016) – The Government of the Northwest Territories continues its planning to meet the future needs of the residents of the Northwest Territories with a review of long-term care released today by Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy.

The review was conducted to better understand the needs for long-term care (LTC) and to inform planning for the next 20 years. It looked at demographic factors driving demand, like age and life expectancy, as well as the supply side, including existing LTC beds, number of beds currently under construction and the system’s capacity to respond to current and future demand.

The study continues the GNWT’s work to identify and plan for the future needs of NWT residents that included the 2014 release of Our Elders: Our Communities, which set out the strategic direction for continuing care in the NWT.


“We know there is a need for more long-term care beds in the NWT, especially with an aging population, and this review will help us plan to address those needs now and into the future. This review will also let us start thinking about the best way to use our limited financial resources while ensuring we continue to provide the best possible care to our elders.”

  •         Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick Facts:

  • There are 174 long-term care beds in the NWT Health and Social Services System today.
  • Facilities housing 27 more long-term care beds are currently under construction in Behchoko and Norman Wells.
  • The annual operating cost for long-term care in 2014-15 was $136,000 per bed.
  • By 2016 the population of people in the NWT 70 years and older will increase from 1,393 to 1,787.
  • The cohort of NWT residents aged 70 or older will continue to increase between 2014 and 2034, but growth will peak past 2020 and begin a slow decline.
  • Demographic shifts taking place in almost every province and territory will continue to put pressure on governments to increase programs and services along the entire continuum of care, from home care through independent living to long-term care spaces.

Related links:

Media inquiries for the Minister:

Andrew Livingstone
Senior Cabinet Communications Advisor
Department of Executive
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 767-9000 ext. 11091

Media inquiries for the department:

Damien Healy
Manager, Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Tel:          (867) 767-9052 (Ext. 49034)