Award-Winning Caregiver Support Program to Expand
Ottawa, April 5, 2013 - The Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) will expand its award-winning caregiver support program to help more seniors with dementia and their caregivers. As the population ages, more family members and other informal caregivers will face the challenges of caring for loved ones with dementia.
"Today, we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of caregivers in our communities," says Kim Peterson, Vice-President, Clinical Care for the Champlain CCAC. The Champlain CCAC is building on its renowned Elder Mediation program, which uses certified Elder Mediators to help caregivers get support, identify stressors and gaps in care. The program is the only one of its kind in Canada and is a model for caregiver support.
With additional health care professionals now qualified to begin certification as Elder Mediators, the goal is to expand this program across the entire Champlain region, which includes Ottawa, Renfrew County, Prescott/Russell, Stormont/Dundas/Glengarry, North Lanark/North Grenville, ensuring that more people will get the care they need.
Sylvia Daigle, 78, knows the challenges of caregiving firsthand. The Cornwall resident is the primary caregiver for her husband John, 84, who has dementia. Sylvia says she was grateful for the opportunity to participate in an elder mediation session arranged through the Champlain CCAC. The couple's four adult children, who live across the country, were able to participate by teleconference and gain a better understanding of both the demands on Sylvia and their father's needs.
"We had a good talk and everyone had a chance to provide input," says Sylvia. She currently has personal support services three afternoons a week and since the elder mediation session will soon have respite care so she can re-charge her batteries. "I realized – and they realized – I need a break. I need help. I can't do it all myself."
"This program works on a simple principle," explains Ms. Peterson. "Caregivers of clients with dementia need help to reduce the burden of care, and people in their network of family, friends and neighbors want to help."