According to Aivilik MLA Solomon Malliki, the dying wish of an Elder in his constituency was for an Elders’ home in the community.
“Just last week, an Elder from my constituency passed away,” said Malliki through interpretation in the legislative assembly May 30. “This is a great loss for the community. The Elder’s last words were to say that there needs to be an Elders’ home in the community.”
Malliki later contacted Kivalliq News to clatify that the Elder’s words were one of the last words, but not necessarily the very last.
He went on to ask Minister of Health John Main how his department assesses the need for Elder care in each community.
Main offered his condolences and said health centre leaders in each community continually monitor Elder care needs and assess the need for home care.
“They want the Elders to be at home and be well taken care of, and we know that as the health department, when the Elders go through hard times, the family also ends up going through hard times and they carry a lot of stress,” said Main through interpretation. “On occasion, we try to provide support at home through our home care providers. With that, for each individual community, how many Elders need care and how many have disabilities or possible disabilities are noted.”
Malliki responded that he appreciates the government has limited funding to build new Elders’ homes and suggested renovating existing buildings to accommodate Elders who need extra care.
Main said that Elders’ care facilities have certain legal responsibilities related to proper care and protocols, and that the Department of Health does its due diligence to pursue the best opportunities available in line with legislative standards and needs of Nunavummiut.
Malliki followed by asking if Main would commit to working with Nunavut Arctic College or other agencies to deliver programs to train individuals to provide Elder care in the communities.
Main responded that the department continually collaborates with NAC.
With regards to home care workers, Main said pandemic measures postponed many programs for in-house training at health centres, and that the department is trying to catch up on that now.