Toronto In-Home Care Blog

7 Tips to Finding Local Family Caregiver Support

Posted by Steve Jones

Wed, Sep 18, 2013

respite-careFor many family caregivers, caring for an aging parent or spouse is the toughest job we love to do. Yet while we live through the lifestyle changes of our loved ones, we often lose sight of our own changes. It may take our falling ill, repeatedly missing work, or a concerned friend to tell us we need help in caring for our senior loved ones. There is no easy answer or quick fix. However, we can alleviate some of our caregiver burnout and burden by seeking home care Toronto support services.

As published in the Canadian Research Network for Care in the Community "In Focus: Informal Caregiving" guide, roughly 2.7 million Canadians family caregivers themselves experience emotional and physical changes. Here are some more stats on family caregivers:

  • One in four family caregivers are 65 years or older. 
  • As many as 70% of family caregivers admit to feeling overwhelmed.
  • As many as 47% of family caregivers experience depression-related symptoms. 
  • As many as 66% of family caregivers spend over $100 a month on caregiving expenses. 

Whether we provide long term family care for a parent with dementia or short term care for an aging spouse discharged from hospital, there are home care support services for all levels of caregiving. From Alzheimer's and dementia nurse managed care to family caregiver counselling services nearby organizations, there is a local caregiver support service to help you help your loved one.

Here is a list of questions to point you in the right direction in finding home care Toronto support services:

  1. Do you need caregiver support in assessing your loved ones care needs? 
    • Complete a informal yet informative caregiver checklist to pinpoint the health and social needs your ageing parent or spouse requires.
  2. Do you need caregiver support in completing activities of daily living (ADLs) like getting your loved one dressed, ensuring they eat properly, and maintaining their hygiene? 
    • Consider hiring a compassionate Personal Support Worker (PSW) for in home care. The skilled PSW works under direct nurse supervision to fulfill ADLs and offer companionship.
  3. Do you need caregiver support in meeting health needs like administering medications, cleaning and dressing wounds, and monitoring symptoms? 
  4. Do you need caregiver support in working with your loved one's health care providers, especially their surgeons while they are in hospital? 
    • Consider hiring a PSW or registered nurse to augment hospital services and enhance your loved one's stay in hospital
  5. Do you need caregiver support in understanding the emotional changes your aging loved one may be experiencing? 
    • Consider becoming a member of caregiver network like Care-ring Voice Network, a comprehensive, private network for caregivers. As a member, caregivers have free access to webcasts and tele-learning sessions on topics related to ageing like living with ageing parents, Alzheimer's disease, and power of attorney advice. 
  6. Do you need caregiver support in finding relevant reading material to stay informed on family caregiving issues?
    • Consider visiting The Family Caregiver website, publication and resource directory for family caregivers. Find links to popular articles, back issues, a caregiver forum, and a marketplace. 
  7. Do you need caregiver support in understanding how to deal with your own emotional needs as a family caregiver? 
    • Consider counselling or support group services to talk through your caregiver challenges and meet other caregivers. Family Service Toronto offers counselling services for caregivers dealing with stress, grief, and chronic illness in the family. 

For more information on home care Toronto caregiver support, including tips to take care of yourself and employment insurance links, click here.

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