Caregivers perform a range of tasks in caring for their family member or friend, with providing transportation being the most commonly reported (73%). Other tasks included housework (51%), house maintenance and outdoor work (45%), scheduling and coordinating appointments (31%), managing finances (27%), helping with medical treatments (23%) and providing personal care (22%).
Online Scheduling, Communications, Community and Communications:
Phoning people with updates takes time and energy that you may not have. Online resources available to help manage your time, manage your supports, connect with others in similar situations and help you keep in touch with others.
The best internet resource that we could find was the Helping Hands calendar on http://alzheimers.lotsahelpinghands.com/caregiving/home/
From one portal, you can set up an entire community around one person or a group of people’s care and this can be shared publicly in cases where a group of people are coordinating volunteer resources in a community or privately for an individual’s care.
It is like Facebook for the caregiver community with updates and health posts, a photo gallery, a well-wishes page and about page for a profile of the person or group the page is about, but it is not just a social place, it is also a great time-saving coordination tool
People often want to help, but they don’t know how. Managing support volunteers takes too much time, call backs, and is awkward to ask others for help. This software allows people to list tasks on a calendar (such as make/deliver lunch, drive to appointment, sit with person for 2 hours, pickup prescriptions, etc.)… Then support volunteers – family, friends, churchgroups, etc log on and choose if and when they want to help and they assign themselves to tasks. The calendar reminds people of the tasks they have signed up for an shows the main care coordinator a quick overview of the month of what tasks are not assigned.
There is also an event feature to coordinate tasks for a specific event, such as a fundraiser, a birthday or an outing.
Finally there is a vital stats area where all the person’s medical information, medications and contact numbers can be stored. This section is only available to those that you share it with for security.
The entire package is free and has a mobile app.
For meals, there are non-profit and companies that deliver meals. Meals on Wheels –Meals on Wheels are programmes that deliver meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. The name is often used generically to refer to home-delivered meals programs, not all of which are actually named “Meals on Wheels“.
In Kelowna, Meals on Wheels can be found at http://www.mow-online.com/ Other community groups, such as Mental Health and the Veteran Independence Program, may also offer subsidized meals. Private companies such as http://homefordinner offer fresh and frozen take out meals.
Other caregiver resources:
Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) – http://plan.ca/ – membership-based non-profit organization, established by and for families committed to ensuring the safety, security and well-being of our relatives with disabilities. For those who have a child or a relative with a disability this question – “Who will take care of our children when we are gone?” is real and pressing. The families who founded PLAN searched and discovered solutions to securing the future for loved ones with disabilities. They have resources, workshops and community to help with planning for your loved one’s future.
Seniors Serving Seniors http://www.seniorsservingseniors.bc.ca/ Links seniors with community and government services
We Rage, We Weep – http://www.werageweweep.com/ This group supports caregivers of those with Alheimer’s disease or dementia by funding programs and services that make a difference in the day to day lives of caregivers and their loved ones that are not currently available in their community.
Virtual Hospice – http://www.virtualhospice.ca/ this is a place to find articles and information on hospice and end of life care, network with others in similar situations, and ask questions. This site also has support tools for professionals.
- Alberta Caregivers Association
- Caregivers Association of BC
- Caregivers Nova Scotia
- Family Caregiver Centre (Calgary)
- Family Caregiver Network Society (Victoria)
- Healthy Heart Society of BC
- Alzheimer Society of Canada
- ALS Society of Canada
- Canadian Cancer Society
- Canadian Caregivers Association
- Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
- Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
- Parkinson Society of Canada
- Schizophrenia Society of Canada