Although caregiving can be personally rewarding, it can also be stressful and expensive and can take an enormous toll on a caregiver's health and wellbeing. All Ontarians stand to benefit when caregivers can be supported with information and access to a range of supports which will allow them to continue assisting those they care about.
Dr. Samir Sinha wrote those words in Living Longer, Living Well, his 2012 prescription for seniors care in Ontario.
As Sinha recognized, caregivers are an essential part of our health care system. An estimated 8 million Canadians are caring for a family member or friend. It's estimated that caregivers contribute $5 billion annually in unpaid labour to our health-care system.
That's why thehealthline.ca Information Network and Ontario's CCACs have launched a province-wide resource, Caregiverexchange.ca, to help caregivers find the information and support they need, and to encourage them to share concerns and stratetgies with one another.
CaregiverExchange.ca provides reliable, up-to-date information about services available to support caregivers and patients across the South West and the province.
The site also enables caregivers to:
- Find out about events, support groups and information sessions designed for them
- Download and print resources about a wide variety of topics, including long-term care, end-of-life care and care provided by local CCACs
- Read up on local, regional and national news and issues relating to caregiving
- Comment on anything they read
In addition, the CaregiverExchange.ca blog tells stories and shares information on a weekly basis. "We keep the site fresh and interesting, so that caregivers will visit regularly," said Norah Cuzzocrea, Coordinator, caregiverexchange.ca. "Caregiving can sometimes be isolating: we are working to build a true online community."