Across Ontario there are 3.3 million caregivers – ordinary people including
children and youth who are caring for family members, partners, friends
and neighbours, who have physical and/or mental health challenges. These
caregivers deliver roughly three quarters of all patient care, including
personal, emotional and often medical care. Caregivers are the single most valuable resource to our health care system, our communities and our society at large.
Mentoring is a method of passing on lived experiences to support another
caregiver in an empowering and meaningful way. Anyone who has been a caregiver will know that the caregiving role presents many challenges. These challenges will be different for every caregiver and from time to time support will be needed.
Sign up to become an OCO Peer Mentor and help other caregivers as they navigate their journey, today:
Why Are Caregivers Looking for Support from a Peer Mentor?
A caregiver may look to another caregiver for support with:
• Social isolation
• Emotional challenges
• Developing coping strategies
• Access to information
• Speaking to someone who understands what it is like to be a caregiver
• Validation of the frustrations they are experiencing
• Thinking about their own hopes, needs and aspirations
• Speaking to someone outside their normal circle of friends and family
• Overcoming guilt
• An opportunity to air feelings in a safe environment
A Peer Mentor has a wealth of experience and knowledge which can help another caregiver with the challenges of their caregiving situation. Caregivers share a common identity and can create a bond through sharing their experiences.
A trained Peer Mentor will be able to:
• ‘Just be there’/Listen
• Provide encouragement, support and acceptance
• Acknowledge a caregiver’s strengths
• Share lived experience and give real life examples
• Discuss a caregiver’s wellbeing
• Provide support with developing coping strategies
• Provide relevant information
• Provide support to set goals the caregiver identifies
• Celebrate any goals the caregiver achieves
• Be someone for a caregiver to bounce ideas off