The Government of Yukon is enhancing programs and services for Yukon seniors and Elders, with the goal of supporting them to age in place in their own homes and communities.
The Community Day Program, offered at Whistle Bend Place, will be expanded beginning April 1, 2021. Two additional staff will be hired, increasing the daily capacity to 16 clients if it is safe to do so within current safety guidelines. Funding will also be provided to support transportation for individuals who would otherwise be unable to attend the program.
The Government of Yukon will continue to invest in Shine a Light on Dementia, a program that provides education and training for caregivers of people with dementia. The program will be offered online, in both French and English, on an ongoing basis. Continuing Care will also begin offering the in-person Dementia 101 information program when permitted as per COVID-19 safety precautions.
Beginning in April 2021, a new rural end-of-life support program will provide direct funding to Yukoners in rural communities who have a progressive, life-limiting illness and are at end of life. Up to $10,000 per individual will be available, which can be used to hire local caregivers to provide needed personal supports in their own home.
The Government of Yukon is working with Yukon First Nations to develop a Yukon-specific Indigenous cultural safety and humility training program. This program will be made available to all department and Yukon Hospital Corporation employees.
Work has also begun on a program that will provide more opportunities for Indigenous residents of long-term care homes to participate in programming that honours and celebrates First Nations history, culture and traditional practices.
These additional supports are part of the Government of Yukon’s ongoing response to the Putting People First report and the Aging in Place Action Plan. Putting People First also recommends that the Government of Yukon shift resources away from subsidizing long-term care and toward initiatives that support aging in place.
To address that recommendation, fees for residents of Government of Yukon long-term care homes will increase from $35 per day to $40 per day as of January 1, 2021. Residents will also be given the option of paying their rent by way of a pre-authorized debit payment, with the new monthly rate of $1,217. Yukon’s rate for long-term care will remain one of the lowest in Canada.
We are working to ensure that the resources of our health and social system remain focused on providing Yukoners with the supports they need to live independent lives in their own home and community for as long as possible. These initiatives all address recommendations made in Putting People First and the Aging in Place Action Plan, as well as three of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. This work will also help us build a health and social system and that is culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Indigenous people.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Expanding the Community Day Program directly addresses recommendation 3.10 in the Putting People First report and recommendation 4.2 in the Aging in Place Action Plan.
Providing dementia training for caregivers directly addresses recommendation 3.10 in Putting People First and recommendation 4.1 in the Aging in Place Action Plan.
Expanding palliative and end-of-life care programs and supports directly addresses recommendation 3.9 in Putting People First and recommendation 4.10 in the Aging in Place Action Plan.
Implementing an Indigenous cultural safety and humility training program addresses recommendation 4.1 in Putting People First and Truth and Reconciliation call to action #18.
Expanding programming for Indigenous Yukoners in long-term care addresses recommendation 4.2 in Putting People First and Truth and Reconciliation call to action #22.
Yukon’s fees for long-term care are significantly lower than the Canadian average, which is currently $83 per day. The last increase in long-term care fees in Yukon was in 2013.