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Healthy elders

New clinic time set

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Oct 09/02) - Elders in Rankin Inlet are getting a little extra special care at the local health centre these days.

The centre is in its third week of offering an elders only clinic on Monday afternoons.

NNSL photo

Nurse Fred Montpetit checks the blood pressure of Pauline Kolit during the elders' clinic at the Rankin Inlet Health Centre. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Nurse Fred Montpetit says the project grew from the concerns of local elders that their needs were not being met at the health centre by the appointment system.

"The waits were too long sitting on the benches and the elders often found the appointments weren't long enough to deal with all their needs," says Montpetit.

"The elders' clinic is an exclusive time for them, which provides the opportunity to address these concerns and they also get some time to socialize with their peers."

The clinic runs from 1:30 - 4 p.m. every Monday afternoon, during which time only emergency cases are attended to in addition to the elders clinic.

There are two nurses who book 30-minute appointments and two others to handle any walk-in elders.

The elders' clinic focuses more on the follow-up of ongoing health concerns.

It is not meant to replace the morning sick clinic, which elders are encouraged to continue to attend for acute problems.

Montpetit says staff members are also looking at the clinic as a way of increasing the flow of information with the elders in a way beneficial to both parties.

"The elders have a great deal of knowledge about the needs of the community.

"If we're going to meet those needs as health-and-wellness practitioners, the elders are one voice in the community which can help us identify them."

Montpetit says the elders have already provided a lot of feedback in regards to creating a positive atmosphere for mental-health wellness in Rankin.

He says the weekly clinic will also feature a number of various themes for the elders, such as blood pressure, flu shots, stretching exercises, nutrition and foot care.

Montpetit says elders should arrange transportation with the elder's van to attend the clinic.

"We'd like to encourage the elders to take advantage of the clinic and make an appointment to see a nurse to deal with any health concern whatsoever."