Five sup­port re­sources for care­givers

The Hamilton Spectator - - YOUNG AT HEART -

Whether you’re work­ing full time and car­ing for a el­derly or ill fam­ily mem­ber or friend or car­ing for your loved one is your full time job, you will be stressed a lot of the time. For­tu­nately, there are com­mu­nity and gov­ern­ment re­sources that can help. Here are five:

El­izz – This is an of­fer­ing of Saint El­iz­a­beth Health Care, a na­tional not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that has been car­ing for Cana­di­ans since 1908. Its web­site, el­izz.com, in­cludes in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice for care­givers on sub­jects from ad­vo­cacy for care­givers to work-life bal­ance. One ex­am­ple is fall pre­ven­tion, de­scribed as the STOP method — Scan the home for prob­lems, Talk to a health­care pro­fes­sional, Or­ga­nize the home to min­i­mize risks, and Plan for safety. On­tario Care­giver Coali­tion – Their web­site, on­tar­i­o­care­giver­coali­tion.ca, lists mu­nic­i­pal, pro­vin­cial, and fed­eral re­sources for care­givers, as well as care­giver ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tions. One ex­am­ple is ad­vis­ing peo­ple in On­tario to call “211,” which pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about ser­vices in our re­gion.

Alzheimer So­ci­ety of Canada

– Their web­site, alzheimer.ca, pro­vides a list­ing of on­line and gov­ern­ment re­sources and makes avail­able a num­ber of doc­u­ments on­line, in­clud­ing a brochure that dis­pels myths, like alu­minum as a cause of Alzheimer’s. On­tario Se­niors Sec­re­tariat – They of­fer A Guide to Pro­grams and Ser­vices for Se­niors in On­tario fea­tur­ing prac­ti­cal re­sources for care­givers and in­for­ma­tion on tax credits and ben­e­fits. It ad­vises, for ex­am­ple, that tax credits may be avail­able to the “sup­port­ing per­son” un­der the Dis­abil­ity Tax Credit and the Med­i­cal Ex­pense Tax Credit. As non-re­fund­able tax credits, these credits can re­duce the amount of fed­eral or pro­vin­cial tax you owe, but are not a cash ben­e­fit. Find the guide on their web­site, se­niors.gov.on.ca.

Tele­home­care – Beyond in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice, there are pro­grams that can help care­givers care for loved ones with chronic health con­di­tions like chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease or con­ges­tive heart fail­ure. One of these is Tele­home­care, which pro­vides health coach­ing by phone and pro­vides sim­ple-to-use equip­ment for the home to en­able the re­mote mon­i­tor­ing of vi­tal signs by a spe­cially trained clin­i­cian. An ini­tia­tive of the On­tario Telemedicine Net­work,Tele­home­care is avail­able to pa­tients in most of On­tario.To learn more, pa­tients and fam­ily care­givers can visit www.on­tar­i­otele­home­care. ca or call 1.855.991.8191. (NC)

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