A two-year pilot project on providing additional care for elders, seniors and persons with disabilities in their own homes will soon be starting in the Hay River area.
The Paid Family/Community Caregiver Pilot Project is being presented by the Department of Health and Social Services, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NWTHSSA) and partner organizations in a number of communities.
The application period for Hay River, the Hay River Reserve and Enterprise opened on Nov. 27 and closes on Dec. 16.
Lisa Rayner, the territorial manager of continuing care services with the NWTHSSA, explained the pilot project is about offering assistance that largely falls outside of Homecare’s normal services.
“So it would allow for people to be able to have care provision or assistance potentially during hours when Homecare doesn’t traditionally work – evenings and weekends,” she said. “It would allow the individuals some flexibility of when the service is provided.”
A caregiver would be paid to help with tasks in the home and community for up to four hours each week.
Rayner noted that Homecare will do light housekeeping, but not things like cleaning stoves or spring cleaning.
“So the focus of this is really around some of those other needs that people have, say running errands, helping with meal prep and cooking, snow shovelling, hauling wood or chopping wood,” she said.
Clients can select their caregiver of choice, which can be a family member or a friend. They can also choose a caregiver from the community. In both cases, the caregiver needs to be hired by a community organization.
In the Hay River area, the initiative will be run in co-operation with the Hay River Metis Government Council, which will co-ordinate the project by hiring the caregivers and handling their pay, and the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.
The pilot project has already begun in Behchoko, Dettah and N’Dilo, Yellowknife and Tuktoyaktuk.
It would have begun early in 2020 in Hay River, except for Covid-19 and a longer than anticipated search for a community partner.
Rayner expects the pilot project will start in the Hay River area early in the New Year.
She also noted that the project has been extended to March of 2022 because of various delays.
“We’re really looking forward to getting this going,” said Rayner of the Hay River part of the pilot project.
As of last week, there were 10 applications from people interested in participating.