Indigenous Seniors in Northern Saskatchewan. Age-Friendly Homes and Communities: Forestalling the Need to Leave One's Community for Eldercare
Indigenous seniors living in northern Saskatchewan are often forced to leave their community when they require geriatric care beyond what can be provided by their community. Although there is the potential for many northern Indigenous seniors to use assistive technology (e.g., grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, fall monitoring, ramps, telehealth) that helps seniors stay in their homes, age-friendly homes require an age friendly community (e.g., medical infrastructure, transportation, housing, opportunities for civic participation) that creates a community environment capable of promoting active aging. Research is mapping the characteristics that help or hinder the ability of northern communities to become more age-friendly and a provincial action plan to develop an aging in place strategy for northern Indigenous seniors is a work in progress.
Indigenous Food Insecurity in Northern Saskatchewan. The Three A's: Accessibility, Availability, Affordability
While Indigenous food insecurity exists across Canada, the brief focuses on food insecurity in northern and remote Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. There are many factors that influence food insecurity in northern Saskatchewan, factors that involve accessibility, availability, and affordability. Northern communities are working to improve food security through local initiatives designed to address both short-term relief (e.g., food banks, school feeding programs) as well as community capacity building (e.g., private gardens, greenhouses) and encouraging the traditional food system (e.g., harvesting techniques, culture camps, food preservation). The food sovereignty movement argues that potential solutions must continue to recognize the contemporary and historical causes of Indigenous food insecurity and address issues of encouraging traditional methods of food gathering, as well as governance and resource management.
The Formal and Informal Support Needs of Indigenous Cancer Patients and their Caregivers: An Environmental Scan
The purpose of the environmental scan is to examine the role of formal and informal cancer support systems in helping Indigenous cancer patients cope with their illness. A key pillar is developing supports that meet the linguistic and cultural needs of diverse Indigenous peoples. Working together, the mainstream medical system and Indigenous peoples are making significant progress in recognizing unmet needs and developing formal and informal supports that improve the cancer journey of patients, their families and caregivers.
The Internet and Digital Technology as Tools Related to Healthcare Indigenous Perspectives and Concerns
Future aging trends among Indigenous peoples, the need to improve healthcare delivery for those living in non-urban areas, as well as the consumer desire to have greater control over one’s own healthcare are making digital health technologies an increasingly valuable part of the healthcare equation. Although digital health brings many advantages, it also carries challenges for many Indigenous peoples, especially those living in rural, remote, and isolated areas. Given the value of digital health technologies in outlying regions, when the barriers to using such technologies are better understood and mitigated, Indigenous patients/consumers, especially those living in peripheral regions, will become better represented in the digital home health market.
Dog Population Management: Stabilizing Dog Populations and Improving Health and Safety in Northern, Remote and Isolated Communities
In many Indigenous communities, especially those in sparsely populated areas, increasing dog numbers is an important public health and safety issue. Even though veterinary services may be lacking, communities are utilizing the resources they have and partnering with veterinarians, animal welfare groups and federal/provincial/territorial governments to develop action plans to manage dog populations. There is no “right” intervention – each community is unique. The size, scope and types of intervention will vary depending on the size and scope of the problem in a community. A community-tailored management program that combine interventions provides the best answer to dog control.
The Use of Conditional Welfare: Workfare. Conditional versus Unconditional Cash Transfers
Workfare is a controversial approach to providing money to people applying for social benefits. Taken together, studies on workfare are unclear about its effectiveness. It appears that welfare policies in Canada will continue to incorporate some job search or training requirements for people who are considered employable, and impose sanctions when obligations are not satisfied. The underlying rationale makes sense to most citizens: Social assistance is intended as temporary assistance, and recipients must be encouraged to make an honest effort to find work or improve their employability. Given the debates that persist about conditional (e.g., workfare) versus unconditional (e.g., basic guaranteed) approaches to government financial assistance, no claim can be made about when these debates will be resolved.