Awareness Campaign

Awareness Campaign: We have identified a gap: Family Caregivers do not have any idea about what they get into when they start their journey. They also have no idea about supports available and in place for them. To this end Family Caregivers Voice offers an-hour-long presentation to healthcare facilities in order to shed light on family caregivers’ issues by offering an educational session on Stages of Caregiving for Family Caregivers and simple solutions to adapt in your organization to better assist family caregivers. We would be happy to share our experience and suggestions with you, family caregivers who are working with you, and your staff. Here is a brief summery on our presentation:

Presentation on Stages of Caregiving is designed for family caregivers and offers: There are over 8 million unpaid caregivers in Canada. Are you or do you know of an unpaid caregiver? Did you know that a caregiver goes through predictable stages as they care for someone? When a caregiver first starts out she or he goes through the “adjusting to normal” and “honeymoon” phases or the “Engaging Stage”. They believe they can look after their patient and easily incorporate all of their other activities around caring for their loved one. Family and friends are relieved to see how well the caregiver is handling everything and make infrequent contact to ask about the patient. After a period of time, the caregiver starts to show signs of stress. They might forget about their own appointments, miss an outing with friends, or put their hobbies away assuming they will return to it later. They might start to miss meals or just grab something quick and unhealthy, not their normal fare. The caregiver will attribute this to being forgetful. As time moves on, the caregiver will start trying to negotiate. They need some time to themselves, or help with cleaning, shopping, etc. but it’s difficult to ask for help, and since everyone thinks the caregiver is doing everything, friends and family don’t offer. People still call to ask how the patient is doing, but now the caregiver is starting to wonder why no one cares to ask how they are doing. The stress mounts and starts to show in unwelcome ways, like back pain or indigestion. Caregivers might feel that they are expected to care for their loved one. On top of running a household, the caregiver may be managing medical appointments and, quite often, monitoring the patient for symptoms and questioning everything. Its often that caregivers sacrifice the things that make them who they are, like friends, hobbies and time for themselves, all of which causes personal stress. Unfortunately this stress often bleeds into a person’s professional life, forcing many to go on leave, or worse yet, resign. Then it  comes the “Settling Stage” when  a caregiver finds a balance between being a caregiver and her or his other roles.

We had informal but informative meetings with:

*** Canadian Mental Health Association

*** Bridgepoint Hospital

So far we presented at:

Stop #13-  Credit Valley Hospital- June 28th- 2016

Stop #12-  2016 CAHSPR Conference- May 17th- 2016

Stop #11-  Connecting Caregivers Workshop by The Regional Municipality of York, Community and Health Department at the Kingsbridge Conference Centre & Institute – March 10th- 2016

Stop #10-  PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation of Canada – November 8th- 2015

Stop #9- Toronto CCAC- Caregiving Experience- October 8th- 2015

Stop #8- Home Care Evidence Forum- How does the patient and caregiver experience impact evidence-informed decisions?- June 11th- 2015

Stop #7- Health is Where the Home is- Tax Refund vs. Tax Credit for family caregivers- Canadian Nurse Association-May-30-2015

Stop #6- Caregiver ShowExperience of Caregiving May-30-2015

Stop #5: St. Elizabeth Healthcare- Interview on Caregivers’ Needs and Issues April-07-2015

Stop #4 : Canadian Caregivers Coalition- Stages of Caregiving April-07-2015

Stop #3: The Change Foundation- Sense of Meaningfulness Feb-10-2015 1:00 PM

Stop #2: Patients Canada- Stages of Caregiving Jan-28-2015 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM Toronto General Hospital, Eaton Wing, first floor #429-430 Please join us for a seminar on The Stages of Caregiving, led by Sara Shearkhani and Carole Ann Alloway. Nobody is born a family caregiver. The transition is not linear but continual, and you’re constantly learning. Finding a balance between being a family member and a family caregiver is hard. Sara and Carole Ann will walk you through their journeys as family caregivers and unpack the various stages experienced .

Stop #1: Toronto Western Hospital- Caregivers’ Stories TOPICS:

  • Building trust between patients, caregivers and healthcare providers for best health outcomes and patient satisfaction
  • Caregivers’ stories
  • Community resources for patients and caregiversThere will be a question and answer period after the presentation.SPEAKERS:

▫      Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong – General Internal Medicine, TWH ▫      Carole Ann Alloway & Sara Shearkhani – Caregivers ▫      Gayle Seddon – Director, Toronto Community Care Access Centre    DATE & TIME: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.   LOCATION: Toronto Western Hospital Auditorium, 2nd floor, West Wing 399 Bathurst Street (just north of Dundas St. W.)   October 31st: Today Sara and Carole Ann made a presentation to patients, caregivers and health care professionals At Toronto Western Hospital (which was also video conferenced with 6 other health care sites) on the challenges and stages of being a caregiver. It was very well received and more requests for our presentation are coming in. We are thrilled that we are able to advance our cause and have our voice heard! Watch it here… and click on Classes and Events

  3 comments for “Awareness Campaign

  1. Lesley
    April 11, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Hi there – I would like to inquire about your awareness campaign and possibly speaking at trillium health partners hospitals in Mississauga, June 2016.
    Please contact me regarding this opportunity. Thanks.

    • Sara
      April 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you very much for your interest. We would be happy to talk with you about the Awareness Campaign. I just sent you an email with my phone number. Looking forward talking to you.


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