Aboriginal Continuing Care

Continuing Care

Continuing Care for Aboriginal People

Registered First Nations living on-Reserve in Nova Scotia have access to home-based health care and residential care through provincially and federally funded programs.

Eligibility for provincial Continuing Care services varies, depending on whether a person lives on-Reserve and whether they are a Registered Status individual under the Federal Indian Act, and therefore have access to similar federally funded services. Non-Status individuals living off-Reserve can access all provincial Continuing Care services, with some exceptions. Non-Status individuals living on-Reserve can access provincial continuing care services through their District Health Authority.

Successes

Several gaps in services and program delivery issues were raised by First Nation partners. In the following cases, provincial policies were formally changed.

Alternate Level of Care Fees in Hospital

District health authorities have the ability to charge an alternate level of care (ALC) fee to individuals who are medically discharged but still residing in hospital. Most individuals in this situation are waiting for a placement to a nursing home. The fees charged are often the same or similar to the accommodation charges in a nursing home. First Nation individuals needing nursing home care must pay the health care and accommodation costs. As a result in some cases First Nation individuals waiting in hospital were being charged an ALC fee of approximately $200/day, creating a financial hardship for individuals and their families. The Department directed DHAs to suspend this practice until a long term solution can be found.

Caregiver Allowance Program

The NS Department of Health and Wellness launched the Caregiver Benefit Program which provides $400/month to eligible caregivers in August 2009. The program is open to First Nation individuals living on Reserve.

Chronic Disease Management Pilot Project

A pilot project involving the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority, Department of Health and Wellness and the Victorian Order of Nurses was extended to allow eligible First Nation individuals living on the two Reserves in this health district to participate.

Continuing Care Assistant Placements

As part of the CCA certification program students must complete a 100 hour placement in a Department of Health and Wellness contracted home care agency. In 2010 the Continuing Care Assistant Provincial Advisory Committee supported by the Department of Health and Wellness began allowing students to complete up to 50% of their home care placement on Reserve as part of the FN Home and Community Care program. Placements have been approved on five Reserves - Waycobah, Wagmatcook, Eskasoni, Potlotek and Paq'tnkek.

Health Equipment Loan Program - Hospital Bed

The Department of Health and Wellness changed the policy governing this program to enable access for First Nation individuals on Reserve to access this program. Access to the program is through the district health authorities and it is delivered by the Canadian Red Cross Atlantic Region. Eligible individuals can borrow hospital type beds for use in their homes at no charge.

Long Term Care Respite

The long term care respite services policy was changed so that First Nation clients living on-Reserve were charged the same fees as other Nova Scotians accessing this service.

Aboriginal Continuing Care Policy Forum

The purpose of the Forum is to continue to foster effective relationships among the partners and to monitor and report on progress towards implementing the home care and long term care recommendations coming out of the AHTF project. The Terms of Reference document the goals and objectives of the Forum.

The Forum has created a space for ongoing dialogue and resolution of continuing care policy and service delivery issues amongst the First Nation communities, federal and provincial governments and district health authorities.

The Forum will meet three times each year. The first meeting was held in June 2010.

Funding for the Forum's work over the next two years is being provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, Health Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Terms of Reference

The Aboriginal Continuing Care Policy Forum includes First Nation community, district, provincial and federal representation and facilitates action on multi-jurisdictional issues that will advance improved quality of care and access to services for First Nations people living on-Reserve.

Download Terms of Reference in PDF format

First Nation Community Contacts

The following contact information is provided to enable information sharing and relationship building among continuing care organizations involved in service delivery to First Nation populations.

Download First Nation Community Contacts in PDF format

Nova Scotia Health Authority Continuing Care Programs

The following contact information is provided to enable information sharing and relationship building among continuing care organizations involved in service delivery to First Nation populations. Referral and Information Line: 1-800-225-7225.

Policy Contacts

The following contact information is provided to enable information sharing and relationship building among continuing care organizations involved in service delivery to First Nation populations.

Download Policy Contacts in PDF format