According to a Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report released today, the distress levels of informal (unpaid) caregivers of individuals with dementia are dramatically on the rise, and their own health is on the decline.

The Alzheimer Society of York Region has just released a solution-oriented Framework to help plan vital changes in the health and community care sectors to help reduce distress and build resilience of caregivers.

The link to this planning framework is:

http://alzheimer.ca/en/york/We-can-help/Support/Caregiver-Framework

Our consulting team at Collaborative Aging was pleased to carry out the extensive consultations with over 850 Caregivers and Healthcare providers in the Toronto area, that led to the creation of this Framework.

The Framework document includes some high level findings including, that while over 65% of caregivers are asked by clinicians for their input on the patient’s care plan, only 37% of caregivers reported they are asked about “how they are doing, or if they have any questions.”

Clearly improvements are urgently needed improve the supports for the 3.3 million caregivers in Ontario.  These improvements include:

  • better communication between clinicians and caregivers (and training of clinicians to support these changes)
  • linking caregivers to the right education and training resources (including more peer supports)
  • expanding access to the urgently needed range of respite services and other supports

The Caregiver Support Framework calls for a proactive and collaborative approach to identify and support caregivers earlier in their journey and reduce their risks of burnout.

For further information on the consultation findings and Caregiver Support Framework, please contact Sue Lantz: sue@collaborativeaging.com or Loren Freid: loren.freid@alzheimer-york.com

Sue Lantz, BA, MPA
Managing Director, Collaborative Aging

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