Written by Mechthild Maczewski
As we experience the second wave of COVID-19, increased isolation and the darker days of winter, the Canadian Mental Health Association points out just how important connections are:
“We need each other more than ever as we live under the constraints of lock-down due to the pandemic. We need to be deliberate about our social connections because they are no longer built into our daily lives. Phone calls, video calls and other digital technologies offer excellent opportunities for connecting, even when we can’t be in the same room. What is known as ‘passive’ socializing—like listening to others—can foster social connection and reduce social isolation.”
(Social Connection is the Cure, Canadian Mental Health Association, www.mentalhealthweek.ca.) Our Caregiver Support Line provides one such opportunity for connection and our focus is on you, the caregiver. Our team welcomes every single call that we receive, listens with compassion and truly appreciates that you have taken the time to connect with us—we understand how busy your days are! We frequently receive calls from a family member or friend who is providing care and support to someone living with disease, disability or frailty due to aging. Care comes in many forms, from physical care, to shopping, cooking, financial and care coordination. Sometimes we receive calls from a health care provider or an employee of another community resource, looking for information to support their friend or client with. Each call from a caregiver is unique and the conversations are multi-faceted. Our primary goal is to connect and support you with resources that match your specific and current needs. For example:
- We can suggest joining a Virtual Support Group that provides a space for connections with other caregivers and peer support;
- We can connect you with our Caregiver Coaching team, and they will offer free 1:1 Caregiver Coaching sessions designed to help you get the answers you need now;
- We can facilitate your connection with other community resources by providing an overview of the specific support services other agencies provide;
- We can facilitate a connection with your inner self, for example, by asking how you are and by offering resources, such as a “self-compassion break” live on Facebook or a breathing exercise to do at home; and,
- We genuinely extend an invitation to you to connect and become part of a community of caregivers by receiving our e-news and printed Caregiver Connection Newsletter that highlight current information on upcoming virtual events and educational webinars.
We hope you will think of Family Caregivers of BC and the Caregiver Support Line as providing opportunities for connection. We look forward to your call! If you have any further ideas for connection that you would like to see Family Caregivers of BC provide for you, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.