One of the most important and most difficult jobs in this country is serving as a family caregiver. As more people care for their aging loved ones, city agencies, charities, health care systems, and provinces supply more support services for caregivers. Taking breaks is okay. As a matter of fact, it is usually necessary. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of caregiver support and benefit programs in Toronto that can give you some relief. Here, we will look at four of them.
The Toronto Chapter of the national Alzheimer Society of Canada serves the city of Toronto and the surrounding communities. They offer support groups, educational programs, and other services for professionals, the public, family members, and Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s caregivers can get help from this group in a variety of ways:
You can engage in in-person caregiver support groups at locations throughout Toronto. Among the many places where caregivers meet in Toronto are the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, St. Clair West Services for Seniors, Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association, and other places. For a complete listing of events, visit the calendar for the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.
They also offer programs that provide engaging, interactive, and educational experiences to support caregivers while you learn from a group of your peers. The workshops are held on a regular basis and are led by education coordinators and social workers. One of the most popular classes helps caregivers identify their sources of stress and develop coping strategies.
24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can get assistance online in the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s forums or over the phone at (800) 616-8816.
Toronto residents aged 60 years or better and their caregivers can contact the Toronto Council on Aging for program eligibility and benefits information. They work with the province and local groups to provide family caregivers with care planning, stress reduction, and respite care when their family members need help with two or more tasks of daily life. Contact (416) 630-7000 for more information.
Family caregivers of senior veterans have access to an array of support resources from the Toronto-Sunnybrook Office of Veterans Affairs Canada. The following forms of support are provided by VAC:
Home respite care In-home hospice care Adult day centers provide breaks for caregivers A national hotline for VAC caregiver information and support at (866) 522-2122 Homemaker help, skilled nursing care, and home health aides relieve your workload at home Caregivers whose family members cannot travel to medical appointments can access home-based primary care and telehealth Experienced and new caregivers can exchange ideas and info in peer support groups To learn more about what services you and your loved one are eligible for, contact the caregiver support coordinator near you.
The Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat can help you find Toronto-area support services and respite care providers. They can also help you with your financial situation. Contact (888) 910-1999 for more info and instructions on how to apply for OSS services.
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