Community care home for seniors opens in Fort Good Hope

A new nine-plex seniors centre that will provide community home care opened in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., on Tuesday.

Seniors centre has 8 rooms for elders and 1 room for community home care worker

The Fort Good Hope Seniors Centre, which will provide community home care to as many as eight elders, officially opened in Fort Good Hope on Tuesday. (GNWT cabinet communications)

A new nine-unit seniors centre providing community home care opened in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., on Tuesday.

There are eight rooms for elders and one room for a caretaker who will provide home care to the elders, said Rose McNeely, chair of the Rádeyı̨lı̨kóé Housing Association.

There are two home care workers in the community of 582 — one who works at the health centre and another who will work at the seniors' centre, said McNeely.

The new centre is the last of five similar complexes built across the territory to support seniors so they can remain in their community as they get older. The other four are in Aklavik, Fort Liard, Fort McPherson and Whatı̀.

"Enabling seniors to age in place with dignity is a mandate priority of the 19th Legislative Assembly and requires a whole-of-government approach that crosses many departments," reads a statement issued by the N.W.T. government about the opening of the new centre.

Some of the supports include no-step entrances to suites, wider doorways and a main floor bathroom.

McNeely said the community has a five-plex for seniors, but it isn't supported by community or home care. She said that as elders age and their health needs increase, they don't want to leave their home community.

She said there's sometimes a language barrier as most elders speak Sahtúǫt'ı̨ne Yatı̨́, or North Slavey, and they also want to remain close to their family.

"A crucial part of ensuring the health and well-being of our elders is housing and I am pleased to have worked with the community leadership and local businesses ... on this project," said Housing Minister Paulie Chinna, who was on hand for the opening along with Julie Green, the minister responsible for seniors.