Caregiving – It’s More Than Showing Up
The impact of caregiving can be great. Often times, a family caregiver faces physical, financial and emotional hardship.
Family caregivers in British Columbia represent 28 per cent of our population. The majority are women and 60 per cent are employed.
A family caregiver’s role spans an average of six years with 89 per cent of caregivers caring for over a year. For every hour of paid care being received, family caregivers are doing 10-hours of unpaid care. Despite the enormous number, their compassion and commitment largely go unacknowledged and unsupported.
Caregivers in our community
They may …
Be holding down a full-time job or struggling to maintain employment.
Have other caregiving responsibilities… like raising children.
Be dealing with a health condition of their own or ignoring their own health because of the stress of caregiving.
They may be incredibly resourceful, but no one person can do everything. Caregiving, without a proper network of support can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion and isolation. Building a support network is one of the most important ways to prevent burnout. It can be helpful to do an inventory of professional, and family or friend supports that can help you with care tasks.
Three Simple Ways to Care for a Caregiver
• Include Them. Caregivers may have to decline an invitation because of the pressures of their role. Don't stop inviting!
• Offer Help. Breakaway from the non-committal, "Let me know how I can help" offers, and offer a specific way you can help.
• Listen. Be the caregiver's sounding wall. Don't be tempted to share similar stories, fix anything or offer advice. Just by listening gives the caregiver an outlet they desperately need.
We can Help
If you’re looking for local support, consider joining the support group offered by Lake Country Health, or access the free, confidential counselling services. And, if you’re looking to get out of the house, join the caregivers’ fitness classes – supervision of your loved one can be provided so you can take a break!
Lake Country Health services for caregivers are just a call or an email away: call 778-215-5247 or email email@example.com for information on programming and services available to you.
Links of Interest
Family Caregivers of BC has a great resource document that explores the Dimensions of Health and provides some tricks and tips for caregivers. Access the PDF here.
Interior Health has a general inquiries line for supports – 250-980-1400
BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support supports the Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL) – call 1-866-437-1940 toll free, from anywhere in the province, from 8am to 8pm daily (excluding statutory holidays).
BC Caregiver Support Line: 1-877-520-3267, available Mon-Fri, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Find Support BC online.
BC211 information online.
Government of Canada Benefits Finder.