Many caregivers are overwhelmed in their role – unsure of where to get information and anxious about what the future holds. They’re frustrated, worried and many find it difficult to cope.
Caregiving impacts the caregiver’s health and wellness, employment, finances and personal relationships. And, they often find it hard to ask for help. How you interact with caregivers in your role makes a meaningful difference in the caregiving experience.
Time to Talk Toolkit – Co-designed by providers and caregivers, the Time to Talk Toolkit aims to help organizations facilitate greater awareness of caregivers and their roles and the value they bring to being on the care team, and encourage meaningful conversations. The Toolkit provides seven easy things providers can do to make a difference to the caregiver experience. These tips, designed by caregivers, support focused conversations. The toolkit includes resources to help organizations with implementation, build staff/providers as champions, and sustain change.
The caregiving experience can be made easier when they are connected to programs and services that support their needs as an individual.
The Ontario Caregiver Organization offers a variety of programs and supports for caregivers, so that they can be supported in their role.
ONTARIO CAREGIVER HELPLINE: 1-833-416-2273
Single point of access to information, support and service in English and French 24/7. Live chat is available 7am-9pm (Mon – Fri) at ontariocaregiver.ca. Caregivers can speak to a Community Resource Specialist to connect to community-based services and supports across Ontario based on their individual needs.
SCALE PROGRAM: NURTURING MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS FOR CAREGIVERS
The SCALE Program (Supporting Caregiver Awareness, Learning and Empowerment) offers weekly psychoeducational webinars (divided into two 4-week sessions) focused on various topics such as stress, anxiety, mindfulness etc., strategies and tools to better cope with difficult caregiving emotions and free online and/or individual counselling.
1:1 PEER SUPPORT PROGRAM
Peer support program that connects caregivers with trained peer mentors for 1:1 phone or virtual support. Caregivers with lived experience and knowledge to share are trained to become peer mentors to provide support to another caregiver seeking support with the challenges they are facing.
ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS
An opportunity for caregivers to connect with other caregivers to discuss the challenges they are facing. Support groups are offered several times a week including a group for young caregivers. Option to join online or by phone here.
One-hour webinars offered two times per month on a wide range of topics for caregivers. Recordings of past webinars are also available here.
ONLINE LEARNING LIBRARY
OCO offers several e-learning modules aimed at building caregiver knowledge and skills that are self-directed and can be accessed at any time. Register here.
TIME TO TALK PODCAST
A free, short, evidence-based, health letter delivered each week to your inbox. Topics includes health information, tips, and advice related to the caregiving experience. Sign up here.
Young Caregivers Connect is a website to help young caregivers aged 15-25. The website was designed in collaboration with, and for, young caregivers and offers information and resources and a way to connect through an online forum that address their unique needs
ADDITIONAL TOOLKITS AND RESOURCES FOR CAREGIVERS
- I am a Caregiver Starter Toolkit – Created by caregivers for caregivers the toolkit focuses on how the caregiver can be empowered to take care of themselves.
- Work & Caregiving – A Balancing Act: Toolkit for Working Caregivers
- COVID-19 Caregiver Tip Sheets, including a COVID-19 Contingency Plan tool for caregivers
- Privacy and Consent Resources – A set of resources that help both care providers and caregivers to better understand health and privacy and consent rules so they can work together for better patient care.