Event Date: Dec 5, 2011 | 12:00PM - 1:00PM EST
Presented by: Dr. Penny MacCourt, Research Affiliate, Centre on Aging, University of Victoria
Facilitated by: Sarah Clark
Host: Canadian Dementia Resource and Knowledge Exchange (CDRAKE)
Event Type: Caregiver, Family and Informal Caregiving, Policy, Webinar
Event Description: Seventy-five to eighty-five percent of the care today’s seniors receive is provided by family/friend caregivers, 60% of whom provide care for more than three years. It is estimated that if all the services provided by informal caregivers in the community were replaced at rates paid to home healthcare providers, the value would be $25 to $26 billion annually. Further, the number of seniors needing assistance is expected to more than double between 2001 and 2031.
While caregiving has many benefits for caregivers it also carries physical, psychosocial and financial risks for their well being. However, in most Canadian jurisdictions caregivers’ needs are not formally acknowledged, assessed or addressed by health and social services, and often service providers lack evidence-informed tools and resources to do so. Most public policies have been developed without taking into account the needs and concerns of caregivers of older adults. Their contribution has been mostly overlooked, largely under-valued, and even undermined. Often these policies have unintentional negative effects on caregivers and their families, potentially increasing the burden on themselves, those they care for and the health care system.
The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the Caregiver Toolkit, designed to facilitate practice, programs and policy that support caregivers of older adults. The Toolkit has been designed for service providers, program planners, policy analysts, advocacy organizations, educators and researchers concerned with the needs of caregivers of older adults. The primary resources, the Service Providers Resource Guide and theCaregiver Policy Lens, based on information from stakeholders and from academic and other literature, include resources and tools related to assessment, intervention and appropriate program/policy design. The Caregiver Toolkit is presently being field tested and is expected to (1) raise awareness about caregivers’ concerns and the challenges that they experience in getting their needs met, and (2) facilitate practice and policies that support caregivers.