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Date updated: May 3, 2018

Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of and supporting a loved one

Sometimes, caring for the needs of another can feel overwhelming and stressful.You are not alone in feeling this way. There are millions of people just like you across this country giving their time and energy to care for and support someone they love dearly.

We are here to help.

 

Taking care of yourself means:

Know and understand your limits. Sometimes, this can mean saying ‘no’. Accept that caregiving is challenging and no one is equipped to do it alone. When you feel you need help, look to family, friends and health-care professionals for support. People you reach out to are only too happy to help. In fact,  they want to help.

It is important to look after your physical, mental, spiritual and social health.

As a caregiver, you may feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Perhaps you feel you have to give all of yourself, all of the time. But doing that can lead to fatigue and make you resentful. It can negatively impact your health, employment, your relationships with others and the with the care-receiver and impact your caregiving abilities.

Taking care of yourself is not being lazy or selfish! Think of it as recharging your batteries.

 

The resources below are things that can help you in your caregiver role and to help yourself.

Must Reads! Articles for Family and Friends - Caregivers

Of Special Note: Upcoming Events...

Mount Pearl Seniors Independence Group

Park Place Community Centre in Mount Pearl

If you are primary caregiver, caring for someone in your own home, please call 748-6485 or e-mail mtpearlseniors@hotmail.com to find out about upcoming events.

Introducing a new:

Family Caregiver benefit for adults

 

NEW!

15 weeks to provide care to a family member who is critically ill or injured. May be shared among any eligible family members.

Special links for unpaid Caregivers (listed in alphabetical order):

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. As a self-help program, AA is self-supporting and not led by professionals. AA is widespread and welcomes a diverse membership with a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and experiences. Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one and express no views whatever on politics or religion. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
  • If you want to drink, that's your business.
  • If you want to stop, Alcoholics Anonymous can help!
  FOR ALL DISTRICT 14- Avalon Area meeting days, times and location: Contact AA-St. John’s (District 15) for phone, e-mail and online (below)
  • Phone: 1-888-579-5215   or    Email: sjintergroup@nl.rogers.com
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. As a self-help program, AA is self-supporting and not led by professionals. AA is widespread and welcomes a diverse membership with a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and experiences. Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one and express no views whatever on politics or religion. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
  • If you want to drink, that's your business.
  • If you want to stop, Alcoholics Anonymous can help!
 
  • Physically accessible meetings (contact AA St. John's for Location and time):
    • First United Church, 221 Park Ave, Mount Pearl
    • West End Baptist Church, 314 Topsail Rd, St John's
    • Holy Trinity Elementary School, 10 Doyles & Quigleys Lane, Torbay
    • Waterford Hospital Chapel, 306 Waterford Bridge Rd, St John's
  • Women’s only meeting:
    • Mondays at 8pm Women for Recovery, Canonwood Hall, 8 Military Road, St  John's
  Contact AA-St. John’s (District 15) for ALL meeting days, times and location Phone: 1-888-579-5215   or    Email: sjintergroup@nl.rogers.com
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. As a self-help program, AA is self-supporting and not led by professionals. AA is widespread and welcomes a diverse membership with a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and experiences. Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one and express no views whatever on politics or religion. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.
  • If you want to drink, that's your business.
  • If you want to stop, Alcoholics Anonymous can help!
  FOR Muskrat Falls [District 16-Labrador] meeting day, time and location: Contact AA-St. John’s (District 15) for phone, e-mail and online (below) Phone: 1-888-579-5215   or    Email: sjintergroup@nl.rogers.com  
The Adult Protection Act protects adults who are at risk of abuse and neglect, and who do not understand or appreciate that risk. Contact your Regional Health Authority at 1-855-376-4957 to report an adult who may be at risk of abuse or neglect and who does not understand or appreciate that risk. No long distance charges will apply. You can report confidentially. Call 911 for emergencies or situations requiring the police.  
AGE provides affordable Dementia education products and services nationally.  Through ACE's multidisciplinary cross-sector training program, staff completing the Gentle Persuasive Approaches to Dementia Care learn to apply strategies that are immediately useful.
Aînés au Canada encourage les aînés à demeurer actifs, engagés et informés!
The Alzheimer Society Newfoundland & Labrador provides information and offers services and support for patients, families and caregivers: brochures and information on the National Safely Home Program, Educational Sessions, Care at Home Course, Family Support Groups, and Resource Centres. Check out the online Calendar with ASNL provincial support groups, presentations, and other events.
A list of benefits for caregivers along with a short description and a link (way to get to a webpage with more information)
  • Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
  • Employer benefits and assistance for caregivers
  • Employers benefits and pensions
The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health main focus areas are: Delirium; Depression ; Long-term Care (mental health issues are common among seniors in LTC); Suicide Prevention. This site presents: Tools for seniors (pamphlets), their families, for Clinicians (pocket card and/or CCSMH National Guidelines) and Tools for Educators (power point slides)
Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) connects people and organizations, works to share reliable information, and advances program and policy development on issues related to preventing the abuse of older adults.
The Caregiver Recognition Benefit  simplified how Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) recognizes and supports caregivers:
  • $1000 monthly, tax free benefit directly to caregivers
  • No time limit to apply
  • Recognition of caregivers support to Veteran
  • Replaced the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit (Federal budget 2017)
April 1, 2018 implementation date.
Carers Canada works together with other organizations to pool resources and combine efforts to make sure that carers are part of and included in social policy to positively impact the lives of caregivers.
CARP is Canada’s largest advocacy association for older Canadians. Formerly known as Canadian Association for Retired Persons, CARP has grown to over 300,000 members. CARP’s mission includes advocating for social change that will bring:
  • Financial security
  • Reasonable and timely access to health care
  • Freedom from ageism
CARP:
  • Publishes Zoomer Magazine nine times a year
  • Sponsors Drive Wise, a program of driving tips and strategies for seniors, delivered free by the RNC (see RNC resource).
  • Has local chapters, for example CARP NL Chapter 1
Contact CARP at 1-888-363-2279 Contact CARP NL Sharron Callahan, President  at 709-690-1238  or nl@carp.ca View Facebook
Central Health offers many types of supportive programs and services across the region to provide individuals with the opportunity to live as independently as possible within their community. The focus is on helping individuals get the supports they need to overcome barriers, increase independence, and improve quality of life. Community Support & Residential Services include:
  • Palliative/End of Life Care
  • Short-term Acute Care
  • Home Support Services
  • Special Assistance Program
  • Personal Care Home
  • Long Term Care
Community Support and Residential Services uses a single entry service model for service delivery.
Home support provides additional help that people need so they remain at home. Contact the Community Support & Residential Services Program of Central Health to apply.
Victims, witnesses and accused persons who have a disability that affects their communication, may require support communicating with police, legal and justice professionals. Communication Intermediaries facilitate two-way communication with persons with communication disabilities, not caused by significant hearing loss. This database provides a way to search for and communicate with qualified Speech-Language Pathologists (Communication Intermediaries) nearest to the desired location. The communication intermediary will respond in a confidential manner to your email to get information, negotiate services and payment. If this is an emergency, contact CDAC at admin@cdacanada.com  
Eastern Health suggests that you complete an Advanced Healthcare Directive (AHCD) and Power of Attorney before your admission to a personal care home or nursing home. An Advance Health Care Directive helps individuals to make sure that their health care wishes (written) are known if for any reason they are unable to speak for themselves. A power of attorney is a written document that names the person you wish to act for you in relation to financial matters. An enduring power of attorney is required if you become mentally incapacitated. They suggest that you see a lawyer and discuss your wishes regarding your financial matters
Saint Luke’s Homes offers two day programs. The Adult Day Program is designed for seniors 65 years of age and above, who benefit from a many kinds of range of social or recreational activities. The respite day program is designed to meet the needs of seniors who have mild to moderate dementia or impaired social functioning. The participants in this program generally require more assistance and supervision.
The services provided under the Community Supports Program (CSP) focus on supporting individuals, families, and care providers by promoting independence, community inclusion, safety, and overall well-being. Services provided under the CSP include:
  • Financial Assessment Services
  • Home Support Program
  • Special Assistance Program
  • Supports for "neglected adults" protected adults under the Adult Protection Act
  • Requests for Respite Care
Referrals to the CSP can be made by the individual or their family, as well as a health care professional. The professional CSP team will determine eligibility for service. If you or a loved one wishes to access residential long-term care you may contact a community health office.  
Individuals wishing to get home supports and other benefits, must have a financial assessment. Depending upon a person’s income (how much money you make), Assets like cash on hand or bank accounts, and Expenses like basic living allowance, or rent/mortgage he or she may be required to pay towards the cost of services. Eastern Health may provide a subsidy to the overall cost. NOTE: Individuals must avail of all other funding sources (e.g. private health insurance) prior to requesting and receiving funding from Eastern Health.    
Provides services to eligible individuals who require assistance with activities of daily living in order to remain in their home. The aim of this program is to prevent, delay or substitute for placement in a long term care facility. Home support services are intended to supplement, not replace, services provided by the individual’s family or support network. For information or to make a  referrals to the Home Support Program, connect with the Community Support Program Intake in the St. John's area and the Local Community Health Offices in the rest of the Eastern region
Seniors and their families may receive Respite Care. This support is in the form of caregiver relief whereby the loved one is placed in a long-term-care facility for a short stay. Respite services must be applied for through Community Health Nurses or Community Health Social Workers in the office of placement services.
The Special Assistance Program (SAP) provides medical supplies, oxygen, and orthotics (special shoe inserts) to assist with activities of daily living for people living in the community. You must first meet financial eligibility and have a clinical assessment completed by a nurse  or social worker.
Elizz, Canada’s largest social enterprise, provides caregiver support and home care services.  Elizz,  a Canadian not-for-profit health care organization, provides a variety of online caregiver tips and how-to articles along with virtual care services such as caregiver counselling.
Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits are available to people who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill with a significant risk of death.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) ensures federally regulated financial entities (banks, retail associations and federal trust, loan and insurance companies) obey consumer protection measures, promote financial education and raise consumers’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities.
Questions often asked by people who have to be away from work for a short time (temporarily) to provide care or support to a family member who is seriously ill with a high risk of death within 26 weeks.
Questions often asked by people who are thinking of moving into a Long Term Care Facility (Nursing Home) or Personal Care Homes (owned by private businesses). Nursing homes generally provide higher level of nursing and personal care to residents  
Do you know a senior who has not applied for the Guaranteed Income Supplement? This is a monthly, tax-free, benefit paid to seniors who have low income and receive Old Age Security, or OAS. This application is for single or married persons or persons living in a common-law relationship, living in Canada with low income.
The Happy Healthy Caregiver podcast features host, Elizabeth Miller. In this show, real family caregivers share how to be happy and healthy while caring for others. A new episode is published every Wednesday morning. Show notes for each existing episode can be found below the podcast player by clicking the image for the episode.
As their event, "The Big Tea" indicates, Independent Age is a United Kingdom site.  Contact numbers, events, language, and many resources are specific to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are other resources available on the site. Advice Guides, Factsheets & Leaflets are free to download and printed copies are available for a price.
Community Health Programs cover all community nursing programs across the life cycle. One of these, Home and Community Care, includes services in home support; palliative care, respite care, and  special assistance (SAP).  This program coordinates  financial and needs assessments required for seniors (and others) to access a variety of services (home support, long term care). These assessments also determine eligibility for a subsidy toward the cost of living arrangements, home support, or other services.
Lets an individual summon help at any time of the day or night (even if they can’t speak). Lifeline also supplies systems that can increase independence and safety (such as AutoAlert). For more information, call Philips Lifeline Customer Service 709-579-7082 or Toll Free at 1-800-387-8120 Contact your local Lifeline Community Representative: Catherine Connolly 709-728-4245 or 1-800-387-8120 ext. 7057 (Toll Free)  
It can be hard talking to your doctor (General Practitioner) or nurse about your mental health. Mind for better mental health (United Kingdom) made a free guide to help you talk to your family doctor (or GP) or nurse about the things you might find hard to express. They present a video with closed captioning. The videos, guides or publications help you 'Find the Words" to make the most of your short visit with your doctor or nurse.
Mood Disorders Society of Canada hosts the DepressionHurts.ca website MDSC provides national leadership on issues relating to mental health through the consumer perspective. They carry out consultations, research,  collaborations and projects and work on systems advocacy. Contact through facebook (see link below), call 613-921-5565 (long distance charges will apply) or e-mail at info@mdsc.ca  
MyGrief.ca, an online support for people working through grief and loss or supporting someone who is grieving. MyGrief.ca is also an educative tool for those working in health care.
NICE has Tools (information and tips) on Caregiving, Dementia, End of Life Issues, Elder Abuse, and more.
This NLHC web page provides you with links to the following Programs: - Rental Housing Program - Downpayment Assistance Program (DAP) - Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) - Home Modification Program (HMP) - Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP) NOTE: HESP replaces the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) The  Downpayment Assistance Program was not active in 2017; status for 2018 - To Be Determined.
Are you having a problem with provincial government services or programs? The Office of the Citizens’ Representative (OCR) provides a province-wide ombudsman service. The main work of the Citizens’ Representative is to accept complaints from citizens who feel they have been treated unfairly with respect to their contact with government offices and agencies.
The Office of the Seniors' Advocate is an independent office of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador.  The Advocate will seek input from seniors in NL. They wil  then determine where seniors believe gaps exist in legislation, policies, programs and services.  Comphrehensive  reviews of gaps (systemic)  will generate recommendations as to how to address those gaps.
The Paid Family Caregiving Option provides money so that certain seniors and adults with disabilities can pay a family member to do approved home support. To see if your loved one is eligible for this program contact your regional health authority.
Caregivers, doctors, nurses, counsellors, and other health workers, responding to emergency situations such as natural disasters or terror attacks, sometimes need to be reminded that a nonstop response can lead to physical and emotional wear and tear. Without attention to self-care, caregivers' usefulness and finally their health will suffer.
Check with a Public Library near you. Your Local Public Library's  events are available online through an Events Calendar. Books are not the only thing your library offers. Libraries are part of your communities. Click the link below to the NL Public Library home page, select Events Calendar, and click the library nearest you. Happy Learning!!
Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum is a group from different levels of governments created to share information, discuss new and up-and-coming issues related to seniors, and work together on key projects.
The Senior's Wellness Hub is based in Grand Falls-Windsor but offer information for all of us. Videos featured on this online resource are:
  • What is Caregiving
  • Medication Safety
  • Eating Right
  • Handling Finances
  • Advance Health Care Planning
  • Pharmacies
  • Coping with Vision Loss
 
Seniors in Canada, Facebook page, encourages seniors to stay active, engaged & informed! Same site as french version.
The  Coup Company created a place online where caregivers can connect , share, and be inspired. Stories For Caregivers is a free to use social platform that works to:
  • Connect Caregivers with each other
  • Showcase series, documentaries, and videos for Caregivers
  • Generate awareness about Caregiving
NOTE: Stories For Caregivers does not offer clinical advice
Caregivers may begin at any stage and follow the five stages in either direction. This site offers a quick quiz to find out where you are on the Elizz 5 LifeStages of Caregiving. You may be helping, involved, intensive, all encompassing, or closing.
Veteran Emergency Fund  The health and well-being of Veterans involves multiple factors that go well beyond the scope of traditional health services and benefits. The new fund would provide Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) with the flexibility needed to financially assist Veterans and their families quickly and efficiently in their time of urgent need. The Veteran Emergency Fund will be in place to ensure the overall well-being of Veterans and their families as a short-term support mechanism while other longer-term support arrangements are made. It would be available to any Canadian Veteran, or their spouse/common law partner, orphan or survivor living in Canada whose well-being is at risk as a result of an urgent or unexpected situation. Contact VAC at 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free) Effective Date: This new Fund would be put into place April 1, 2018.
Plan your future: aging in place. This short video talks about the importance of home and neighbourhood. Video transcript is included.    
Video series: Dementia and Caregiving. Family caregivers share their personal experiences and talk about the importance of social connections.
There are two Alternate Level of Care (ALC) units located at the Western Memorial Regional Hospital. Patients staying in these beds no longer need acute care treatment (the hospital) but are waiting for home support services or for a place in a long term care facility.
The following services are provided through Community Support:
  • Home Support Services
  • Nutritional Consulting Service
  • Financial Assessment
  • Special Assistance Program
  • Home Nursing Care
  • Personal Care Homes
  • Assessment & Placement Services for Long Term Residential Care and Personal Care Homes: Apply by contacting your local Western Health office to have an assessment (review) completed by the Community Health Nurse or Social Worker. Once a medical is completed by a physician (at your own cost) and a financial assessment is done, the application can be given in. If approved (by a letter), you will be placed on a wait list until a vacancy is found.
People wishing to get home supports services or to apply for Admission to Long Term Residential Care must have a Financial Assessment (review). Depending upon a person’s income (how much money you make), Assets like cash on hand or bank accounts, and Expenses like basic living allowance, or rent/mortgage he or she may be required to pay towards the cost of services. Western Health may provide a subsidy towards the overall cost.
Provides services to eligible individuals who require assistance with activities of daily living in order to remain in their home. The aim of this program is to prevent,  delay or substitute for placement in a long term care facility.  Home support services are intended to supplement, not replace, services provided by the individual’s family or support network. A referral must be made to the Community Health Nurse or Community Support Social Worker if the person is living in the community or to the hospital-based Social Worker if the client is currently in hospital.
Information on admission of an individual to the facility for a pre-set period of time. There are a number of different types of admissions under this service, all of which are designed to meet a specific need. A client and/or care provider may use this service more than once a year, with acceptance, depending upon need and bed availability.
The Special Assistance Program (SAP) provides medical supplies, oxygen, and orthotics (special shoe inserts) to assist with activities of daily living for people living in the community. You must first meet financial eligibility and have a clinical assessment completed by a health professional such as a Physician, Occupational Therapist, or Social Worker.

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