Exercise program helps elders stay healthy in northern First Nation communities
The program runs twice a week in North Caribou Lake and Eabemetoong First Nation
Elders in northern Ontario communities are getting healthier thanks to a one-time grant of $100,000 from the provincial government.
Officials at Northwest Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), along with North Caribou Lake First Nation and Eabemetoong First Nation developed an exercise program catered to keeping elders healthy and socializing with one another.
"In Eabemetoong, we hired an exercise leader," said Denise Taylor, the manager of the Northwest LHIN's regional rehabilitative care program. "She started delivering the classes [at] the end of May, non-stop [and] she has about 10 to 15 elders, twice a week, in community."
She said in North Caribou Lake First Nation, the exercise program is run through the Home and Community Care Program by a rehab assistant.
"It's hugely important to keep many of the elders as healthy and as well as possible, especially in the far north communities [because] they don't have long-term care homes," Taylor explained.
She said once elders in the northern communities reach a level where they require assisted living, they have no choice but to move out of their community as the service is not available nearby.
"Culturally, being close to family and being in your community is hugely important for our First Nation communities, so it's really important that we can do whatever we can to keep people healthy as possible so they can remain at home," Taylor said.