Are you a caregiver? Caregivers are everywhere in our community, and look after people they are connected to. They may be young caregivers dropping in to look after grandparents on a weekly basis. They may be busy with a full-time job and a young family, but are also looking after their aging parents on a daily basis. They may themselves be seniors, looking after their spouse or sibling or parent dealing with a chronic health condition 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Caregivers support their family members, friends and neighbours through their health journey, whether it is a short-term illness, accident or surgery, or a long-term chronic health condition, cancer, dementia, or palliative care – whatever the need may be. There are many stages of caregiving, and whether it’s by choice or by chance, caregivers often take on the responsibilities willingly, with love and compassion.
With COVID-19 affecting our communities, caregivers have lost their lifeline to in-person community programs and services, have fewer opportunities for respite care, and may not be comfortable bringing outside help into their homes. Caregiving can be time consuming, challenging, often without recognition or support, and for many it is a full-time job. In these times of restricted family and friend visits, caregivers are feeling overwhelmed, distressed, and need support. Community support services agencies offer virtual programs to support clients and their caregivers to fill that gap and stay connected, but more support is needed.
The Champlain Community Support Network partnered with the Champlain Dementia Network and United Way East Ontario to launch the Eastern Ontario Caregiver Strategy. With caregiver distress at an all time high, the strategy recognizes a need for better education resources for caregivers.
Caring At Home: Caregivers need help – but finding time and resources can be overwhelming. Caregivers can find learning tools, resources, and self care help through the Champlain Community Support Network’s online education platform called Caring At Home. CCSN has partnered with Trualta – Caregiver Education Specialists – to bring evidence-based learning and resources to caregivers in our community.
Ready for the Holidays! Caregivers can register to use the learning system free of charge, and have access to a learning library of videos, articles, music resources, and much more. Learn on your own time, at your own pace, from a home computer, tablet, or smartphone. Topics on the platform include providing personal care, dementia, stroke recovery, music therapy, and self care topics. Just in time for the holiday season, new modules are available to help you with planning activities and festive music therapy.
If you are a caregiver, or know a caregiver who would benefit from online learning and resources, register for a free account to find more information at caregivingathome.ca.