New program to help seniors age in place opens in Whitehorse

A new 10-bed reablement and respite unit opened at Thomson Centre today. The new reablement program will provide an option for individuals who do not need acute care but cannot yet manage at home or are struggling in their home.

The reablement program will help individuals regain strength, endurance, functioning and independence to allow them to stay in their homes longer. The respite program provides temporary support to individuals living independently or being cared for by a friend or family member.

Reablement programs are a relatively new innovation in Canada. The program is the first of its kind in the territory and one of a few operating nationwide.

This is an exciting new program for Yukon. We’ve heard that our seniors want more support to help them age in place and we continue to explore innovative solutions to advance that priority. This new reablement unit will fill a gap in our existing continuum of care. By supporting seniors to regain strength and independence, we can help them stay at home for as long as possible.

Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost

Quick facts 
  • Access to reablement and respite programs can help individuals regain or maintain their ability to remain in their homes and communities instead of moving into long-term care.

  • The program will fill a long-term gap in our continuum of services by supporting individuals in the hospital and community to return home or stay at home longer.

  • The respite beds are opening to maintain the number of respite beds in the system as Macaulay Lodge prepares to close.


Government of Yukon opens new program to help seniors age in place

December 2018

The Government of Yukon has opened a new respite and reablement program at Thomson Centre. As the first of its kind in the territory, the reablement program will support seniors to regain strength and independence.

Overview of the program

The reablement program will support people to return to a higher level of function, divert early admission to long term care, and help decrease the length of stay for some individuals in acute care.  This focus is different than a sub-acute ward or a rehabilitation unit. The reablement focus expands the range of options for individuals who do not need acute care but cannot yet manage at home. These individuals may be coming directly from hospital or may be living in the community.

This program is intended for individuals who are motivated to continue to undertake activities of daily living, who need a period of time to recover independence (strength, endurance or functioning), and who are likely to benefit from a short stay (up to 90 days) in a long-term care home before returning home.

In practice, reablement can mean different things for different people – it all depends on a person’s individual situation. For example, it might mean working with the person to:

  • Practice daily activities like cooking and bathing to help regain skills and confidence.
  • Find new ways to do things so a person feels safer and more confident.
  • Look at what else might help (for example, support to access recreation programs or social outings, personal alarms, home adaptations or equipment).
  • Involve their family and/or carers in helping the person to live more independently.

Reablement is:

  • About helping people to do things for themselves, rather than doing things to or doing things for people.
  • Time limited; the maximum time that an individual can receive reablement support is decided at the start.
  • Outcome focused; the overall goal is to help people back into their own home or community.
  • About setting and working towards specific goals agreed upon by the individual and the reablement care team.
  • Very personalized; kinds of supports given are tailored to the individual’s specific goals and needs.

Reablement is not:

  • A rehabilitation unit
  • Sub-acute care
Media contact 

Janine Workman
Cabinet Communications

Clarissa Wall
Communications, Health and Social Services

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