Eskasoni working for own long-term care facility
Some aboriginals feel long-term care homes 'reminiscent of residential schools'
Nova Scotia's largest Mi'kmaq community is working to create its own long-term care facility for its aging population.
Sharon Rudderham, health director at the Eskasoni Community Health, says people in the region are struggling to care for elderly relatives at home.
She says though people do not want to send their loved ones to a facility outside the community, some cannot look after their elderly relatives on their own.
"They don't necessarily have a large extended family or they might have to go out west to work and don't necessarily have the family to support them," says Rudderham.
She says people fear being put into a facility that separates them from their language and culture.
"To have that thinking that they're going to be forced into this environment that they can't speak their language is very reminiscent of residential schools," she says.
Peter Stevens worked on a study looking at the need for a long-term care facility in 2011.
"The things that came out from this study were startling. We realized that, in some instances, care was compromised. In fact, there were some instances where that care could be improved," says Stevens.
The study revealed that there were 30 to 40 people who need long-term care in Eskasoni.
Rudderham says having a facility in Eskasoni run by the community would go a long way towards easing the burden on families.
The provincial Department of Health and Wellness says it’s aware of the request from Eskasoni and discussions about a long-term care facility are ongoing.