Ten Things I Learned from the Caregiver’s Expo

The Burnaby Seniors’ Outreach Society’s Caregiver Expo provided a fount of information.  It was a pleasure to meet  speak with Helena, following up on our initial phone conversations.  If you weren’t able to attend the Expo earlier this month, here is a cheat sheet of valuable information: ten things I learned that I believe will prove helpful to caregivers.

  1. NIDUS: Is an organization established in 1995 to provide both information and assistance with Representation Agreements.  Nidus now serves as a registry for all the documents that outline your instructions for care should you become no longer capable, due to accident or illness. Materials and information are available on the website:  http://www.nidus.ca

  2. CAREGIVER EDUCATIONAL SERIES: Is available in Burnaby, through the Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society.  This is a six week course presented twice a year on how to alleviate, manage and improve the quality of life for the caregiver and the care-recipient.  More info is available at : https://www.bsoss.org/index.php/contact-us

  3. PARKINSON SOCIETY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: Provides free counselling for those who have Parkinson’s as well as their loved ones. Other services include a network of over 50 support groups, province wide.  Contact them at http://www.parkinsonbc.ca

  4. BONE BROTH: Is made from bones from organically raised and humanly butchered cows, the bones are simmered in water for up to 36 hours. The resulting broth is said to reduce joint pain and inflammation, promote strong bones and heal and seal your gut, promoting healthy digestion.  To find out more, or to place an order call 604-432-9961.

  5. ALLIES IN AGING:  Is the mantra of the Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC).  This organization provides many supports, one of which is a magazine called   The  Caregivers’ Connection.   To sign up for this publication, follow this link: http://www.familycaregiversbc.ca

  6. FREE LEGAL CONSULTATIONS FOR SENIORS: Is available in New Westminster, Surrey, Burnaby, North Vancouver, and Vancouver.  To find out more about this priceless resource, call 604-336-5653.  Or learn more at http://www.SeniorsFirstBC.ca

  7. RESPITE STAYS: Joel Grigg of AgeCare Harmony Court Estate advised me that care-recipients can come to stay at their retirement home for $90 a night.  This includes meals, overseeing necessary medications, full access to facilities along with support staff availability.  For the lower mainland this is a great bargain; it can grant peace of mind to the caregiver during a much-needed break.  For more information go to: http://www.agecare.ca.

  8. SAIL: Stands for Seniors Abuse & Information Line. 1-866-437-1940 available weekdays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with interpretation available on request from 9 a.m. to 4 pm weekdays, except for holidays. All calls are confidential.

  9. LEGAL DOCUMENTS: I learned that

    1. Wills cover everything after death,

    2. Power of Attorney covers legal and financial matters while one is alive,

    3. And a Representation Agreement appoints someone to make health and personal care decisions as you have instructed, on your behalf if you are incapacitated due to illness or accident.  For more information, contact Nidus, (see #1 on this list) or use your free 1/2 hour legal consult (#6).

  10. CAREGIVER SUPPORT: Caregiver Support is available in BC, often through the organizations that provide information and support for the care-recipient’s illness, such as the Alzheimer’s society, the Parkinson’s society, and the cancer society.  There are also community and hospice caregiver support groups which are often free. Contact Fraser Health Services or Vancouver Coastal Health to arrange for a free assessment of the services for which you qualify, and a determination of costs.

    And I cannot say this often enough: the best way to find support?  Call your local hospice society offices.

The Caregiver Expo happens every year in Burnaby and the exhibitors offer valuable information ranging from the price of retirement housing to government, private and volunteer agencies that are in place to assist in the process of caregiving.

Caregiving is demanding and often frustrating as well as rewarding.  To give and get the most out of this journey, it is important to care for yourself.  These resources will help you to do just that!

Margaret Jean.

 

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