The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is piloting a two-year caregiver program that will provide additional supports around the home and community to elders, seniors, and persons with disabilities who have ongoing care or support needs.

The project is in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Services, Tlicho Community Service Agency and Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.

Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services, GNWT stated that the project will support the independence of elderly and disabled residents and build important connections between community support and health and social services.

“This service will provide additional support to those who need it in our communities. We look forward to seeing the impact of this pilot over the coming two years, and are pleased to be offering this service to residents of the Northwest Territories.”

The pilot program is underway in Behchoko and intake recently finished in Yellowknife, Dettah and N’Dilo. Planning for the communities of Hay River and Tuktoyaktuk continues and rollout will begin this spring.

Each community is accepting a predetermined number of applicants into the program, and for two years, individuals accepted into the program will have a caregiver who is paid up to four hours each week to help them with tasks around the home and community, such as cleaning, meal preparation, hauling wood, snow removal, running errands, shopping and more.

The NTHSSA has released a couple notes about the project:

  • This service delivery approach will be trialed in five communities of varying sizes. This will ensure we gain an understanding of how this approach supports elders and persons with disabilities in communities with different resources. This program is not meant to replace homecare or long-term care. This service option will complement existing programs.
  • Clients can select their caregiver of choice which can be a family member or a friend. Clients can also choose a community caregiver. In both cases, the caregiver needs to be hired by the local community organization.
  • Caregivers will be paid to deliver support services that help individuals remain independent in their homes such as grocery shopping, snow shoveling, wood cutting, light housekeeping and meal preparation.
  • Care provided by a professionally regulated health care provider is excluded from this service option. These types of services include, nursing care, rehabilitative care such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy, and palliative care. Paid Family/Community Caregivers are not intended to deliver or replace services that are provided by a health and social services professional.
  • Activities of Daily Living, or ADL’s, that are provided by Home Care workers is excluded from this services option. These types of services include: personal care, medication assistance, equipment management, assisting clients with mobility needs, palliative care.
  • The program will be piloted for two years. Following the completion of the pilot, the program will be reviewed and considered for permanent territory-wide implementation.