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Update on the development of an Assisted Living Services Residence

March 28, 2012

One of the key areas identified in the Moose Cree First Nation Strategic Plan includes the development of improved accommodation and services for the senior population.

While the Independent Living Residence is currently fully occupied and a much-needed service, it was clear that a residence offering additional supports for the more frail and elderly was becoming a priority.

The Weeneebayko General Hospital also offers beds for the more elderly, which is much appreciated, however a twenty-four hour program which will offer meals, laundry, care and other services must be provided. There are also a few members who reside in facilities outside of Moose Factory, but at this point it is not certain whether these individuals would eventually move home.

A preliminary needs analysis was recently completed and presented to Chief and Council. This analysis included reviewing current government programs, interviewing staff and individuals having some experience or knowledge of programs for seniors as well as visiting several facilities both on and off reserve.

At the present time, MCFN does not have, within its membership, sufficient clients to make the provision of a Long Term Care (nursing home) facility viable.

This means that MCFN would not qualify for sufficient funding from government to manage a fully operational nursing home. This would mean the difference in what the government would provide and what the facility would require, and what would have to come from the First Nation and/or the clients themselves.

An attractive alternative is to pursue the development of an Enhanced Assisted Living Facility.

This facility could provide many of the services of what most people refer to as nursing home without the high costs and significant government and industry regulation that accompany conventional nursing home operations.

The Chief and Council have approved-in-principle the development of a 25-30 bed facility with Enhanced Assisted Living Services.

This means that the necessary start up work, such as seeking approved agency status for MCFN to operate such a facility, can be commenced. The actual program of services, the personnel required and the type of facility would be the focus of ongoing consultation and research over the coming months.

A draft detailed work plan with costs and timeframes is being prepared this month for the consideration of Chief and Council, which will outline the major tasks that must be addressed to move this project forward.

A Steering Committee will be formed to guide the development of this facility and will be responsible to the membership through Chief and Council.

- Chief and Council