Whether you are a caregiver yourself or are close to someone who is, you’ll know that caregiving can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. Without adequate support and respite, however, it can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, exhaustion and a sense of disconnect from oneself outside of the caregiver role.
*Stats Canada estimates that there are 8.1 million caregivers in Canada providing care for family members with debilitating illness or long-term disability.
Many of us will find ourselves in a caregiving role at some point in our lives, especially as medical services and innovation continue to improve. Now, more than ever, the conversation around caregiving is vitally important and should be discussed on a national level to continue to foster understanding, compassion and support amongst all Canadians.
Fortunately, there are many initiatives currently taking place to encourage the discussion around this very important issue and to provide support for caregivers.
One of these initiatives is a social platform called CONNECTIONS currently being developed as an online destination for Caregivers. Its aim is to share the stories of caregiving, for and by caregivers, and to increase understanding amongst the general public. You can check out the short film We The Caring, made by our friends at thismatters2Media, on the same site.
At Plan Institute our mandate is to improve the lives of people living with disabilities as well as those of their family members, many of whom are caregivers themselves. As part of our efforts to support caregivers, we host an annual Caregivers Retreat, facilitated by other caregivers who themselves understand the importance of supporting one another. This special weekend retreat is designed to support and nourish family caregivers in a natural and relaxed setting, to allow for a renewed sense of self and a chance to connect with other caregivers. Thanks to generous donations, we are able to keep it affordable.
When caregivers are able to take care of themselves, they are better able to take care of others, so it is important that we continue to find ways to support the caregivers in our families and our communities.
- The Caregiver’s Living Room – A Blog by Donna Thomson
- The Caregiving Space
- Webinar: Tips for Working Family Caregivers
- Caregivers Retreat – BC
*Statistics Canada Study: Caregiver’s in Canada, 2012