In the fall of 2021 at the Civitan Hall in Almonte and this spring at St. James Anglican Church in Carleton Place. Home Hospice North Lanark (HHNL) organized and presented the five-module Practical Caregiver Training course developed by Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program.
Presenters included four retired or active Registered Nurses, a retired Social Worker, and a retired Physiotherapist, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in palliative care, and working with seniors and people with disabilities. These speakers help participants gain the knowledge to care for someone in their care. Topics include Advance Care Planning, Lifts and Transfers, Personal Hygiene Care, End-of-Life Care, Communication with the Health Care Team, and Self Care. Printed handbooks, and an array of items related to the weekly themes for participants to see and examine (our “Show and Tell Table”) are provided.
Emphasis is placed on listening to the questions and concerns that participants bring specific to their own caregiving context, and to provide resources, online and locally, and where they can source items they may need for their specific situation. We also share the mandate of various organizations, including HHNL, that provide services that they may need now or in the future, as they progress on the caregiving path.
Participants often share their personal stories and challenges, and share tips with each other, forming bonds and networks of support that may persist after the course is over. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly, empathetic, and safe for participants to learn and grow.
Teaching non-paid caregivers practical ways to care for someone is one way of offsetting the stressful burdens of care that over three million non-paid caregivers in Ontario provide every day, and is part of HHNL’s mandate. We hope to continue offering this valuable course again in the fall in Pakenham. Watch local media and our social media for details.