Nunavut is moving closer to getting 156 new long-term care beds in the territory.
The government of Nunavut awarded the contract for the design and construction of three new facilities to ft3 Architecture Landscape Interior Design.
The Winnipeg-based firm will oversee the building of a 24-bed facility in the Kitikmeot region and a 24-bed facility in the Kivalliq region, as well as one or two buildings in Iqaluit that will total 108 beds.
“We’ve done a lot of senior housing and personal care homes and we’ve done a lot of projects in northern and remote communities, specifically Indigenous communities,” said Marten Duhoux, a principal architect with the firm, and a northern adviser for the project.
“We’ll be looking at sustainability measures to ensure those are incorporated as well.”
Nunavut has long struggled to care for its elders closer to home. Many are sent thousands of kilometres away to residential care facilities out of the territory. As of 2017 there were 27 long-term care beds in the territory, and no facilities for elders with dementia.
Designs slated for February
Past ft3 projects include six personal care homes on First Nations in Manitoba. Duhoux said the goal is to see seniors staying in communities in buildings that are more like a home than an institution.
He said his team will be working closely with communities to set the stage. “We are pretty excited about that.”
Duhoux added that community engagement, including working in the local language, is important to the firm, and on previous projects it has worked with interpreters.
“People can express themselves way better in their own language,” he said.
According to the tender documents released by the Government of Nunavut, the first designs should be completed by February 2020. The plan is to have people move into the first long-term care centre in the Kitikmeot region by winter 2022, and the Kivalliq and Qikiqtaaluk facilities ready for residents by winter 2023.
The government of Nunavut has not yet revealed the cost of the facilities, or the locations in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions.
CBC has requested an interview with the territorial government about the long-term care beds.
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Sweden: Social Democrats lose Arctic stronghold over healthcare in Sweden’s regional elections, Radio Sweden
United States: Proposed cuts to Alaska’s Medicaid raises concern for health centers, hospitals, Alaska Public Media