The NWT Seniors’ Society established the following 4 objectives during a strategic planning workshop in March, 2014:
1. Cost of Living: To lower the cost of living for seniors and elders throughout the NWT.
The Society plans to focus on lowering the cost of living by targeting efforts at the high food costs throughout the territory. The Society hopes to partner with youth, the Territorial Farmers’ Association, Ecology North, and other food sustainability organizations to advocate for more local food production and food sharing.
Additionally, there is a commitment to conduct a research project to study the need for a living supplement that would ensure equality among seniors and elders’ living costs throughout the NWT.
2. Inequality: To eliminate inequalities among seniors and elders in the NWT
The Board of Directors recognizes that a significant challenge to many seniors and elders is finding and affording appropriate housing. The Society will work to bring this issue into discussions with various departments of the GNWT and other public forums in which it participates.
Ideally, this advocacy will result in increased access to affordable and adequate housing for seniors, greater support for an “ageing in place” model, and more seniors involved with Local Housing Organization Boards and committees.
3. Improved Access: Improve access to medical and health services
Many seniors and elders in the NWT have difficulty with several areas of the current medical system, including (but not limited to): confidentiality, medical escorts, local transportation, age-appropriate service, lack of plain language materials, health benefits, issuance of medications, and out-of-territory medical coverage.
The Society recognizes these issues and plans to advocate for: cross-cultural orientation for all community/regional-based Health and Social Service personnel, annual quality of service reviews, electronic medical record usage, public education for medical travel policies, streamlined prescription practices and out-of-territory coverage.
4. Safety: Create safe communities
The Society will build on its previous, long-standing efforts to address older adult abuse in communities. Creating Safe Communities workshops, the NWT Network to Prevent Older Adult Abuse, and training for front-line staff will continue, alongside a renewed focus on “age-friendly” communities will help to make all NWT communities a safer place for older adults.
See these priorities in detail here: Action Plan 2014-2017 Strategic Priorities.
These strategic priorities build on those previously developed for 2010-2014:
- Independence: To support more NWT seniors and elders living independently in their own homes.
- Abuse of Older Adults: To eliminate the Abuse of Older Adults in the NWT.
- Support Groups: To encourage and support community based seniors and elders groups.
- Health Benefits: To maintain the existing level of health benefits available to seniors in the NWT.
- Healthy Lifestyles: To encourage more seniors and elders to live active, healthy lifestyles.
- Enhance Capacity: To enhance the capacity of the NWT Seniors’ Society.