Nova Scotia will spend $29.1 million on several continuing care initiatives across the province, it was announced on Thursday.
About $2 million of that will fund the Capable pilot program. The program, the first of its kind in Canada, is aimed at helping seniors age in their own homes.
Seniors and Long-term Care Minister Barbara Adams told reporters on Thursday that the program will be a “big game changer”. She said the program will make it easier for seniors who wanted to stay home, but didn’t have the assistance or plan.
The Capable pilot program will pair a nurse, occupational therapist, and a tradesperson with a senior in order to make accommodations to their home.
In the program, a nurse evaluates a senior’s medications, meals and how well they’re able to do certain activities. Then an occupational therapist assesses what, if any, mobility devices are needed in the home.
Last, if any minor changes need to be done, instead of going through a grant program, the government will pay the tradesperson to do the work. These changes could include changing the layout of a bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair, adding railings to a staircase, widening a doorway or adding technology to open a door remotely.
Northwood CEO Janet Simm said that her staff is excited for the program. She said that by giving more independence to the senior, there would be less need for staff to be at their homes.
“It will make the work of our staff much easier. But most importantly it will improve the quality life of the individual and create some further independence,” said Simm.
There is $8.1 million to retain long-term care assistants hired during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Simm. About $5.1 million will go to capital funding and repairs, while $4.6 million will fund infection control facilities and $4.5 million will go toward administration.
About the author
Jack is a fourth year journalism student at the University of King's College.