Join us in celebrating Family Caregiver Month! Learn more here.

This week in honour of Family Caregiver Month we are bringing awareness to Mental Health & Caregiving

About Family Caregiver Month

May is Family Caregiver Month, an opportunity to join millions across the country to recognize and celebrate the vital role of family and friend caregivers. Their role is significant, giving over 80% of the care when we need it, yet they are often unrecognized, unsupported and underappreciated.

Family Caregivers of BC (FCBC) is part of a National Caregiver Recognition Working Group, together kicking off year 3 of the Caregiver Aware Campaign. Although we have different days and weeks in addition to the month of May to recognize caregivers across Canada, we are fortunate to have a strong, committed core group together growing our impact.

The Caregiver Aware Campaign is focusing on four key themes—this week, kicking off with Mental Health & Caregiving. Learn more about this month and the four themes on our website.

Why Mental Health & Caregiving?

Family caregivers can experience a wide range of emotions in response to the responsibilities of providing care: anger, grief, guilt, and resentment, joy, satisfaction, and more. That to say, it’s important as caregivers that we stay in touch with our mental health for ourselves and our care recipient(s) in order to stay resilient and continue to be able to offer care.

This week’s theme is “Mental Health and Caregiving” because we at FCBC, in partnership with The National Caregiver Awareness Working Group, acknowledge that a healthy caregiver is vital for the health of our communities.

Join our Podcast Listening Party

May 14th from 10:00 - 11:15 am

What is a Podcast Listening Party? It is like a book club, but for our podcast episodes related to Caregivers Out Loud.

We welcome you to bring a warm drink and together we will listen to the new FCBC podcast titled: Friends Caring for Friends, A Circle of Care Approach (coming soon). Following the podcast Bill Israel, Host of Caregivers Out Loud and Kate Landreth, FCBC Education Lead will guide and encourage conversation and different perspectives on the topic of Informal Caregiver Supports.

Join our Caregivers Connect: Celebration

May 27th from 2:00 - 3:30 pm

The Caregivers Connect Celebration is a special-edition of our Caregivers Connect support group, offering ALL caregivers an opportunity to enjoy fun and reflective activities, including easy and accessible mindful chair movement and creating a time capsule. Participants are invited to bring a piece of stationary and an envelope to this virtual event. 

This will not be a typical support group meeting, rather an opportunity to connect over a fun activity and to welcome new caregivers.

Virtual Caregiver Support Groups

Victoria Virtual Caregiver Group

Our monthly Victoria Virtual Caregiver Group brings caregivers from the Greater Victoria Area together around a mutual experience of caregiving for a family member or friend. This is a time for reassurance, where caregivers can realize they are not alone. This group is facilitated by our experienced volunteer Bonnie Davoren.

Next Session: May 5th, 1:30-3:00 pm (1st Wednesday of each month).

Registration: You must pre-register to join the session. Register in advance here. You will get a password and instructions to join this Zoom Virtual Group.

Please note that when joining you can choose to share your first and last name or create an anonymous username.

 

Virtual Caregiver Support Groups

For All Caregivers:

Join us May 11th, for the BC Men's Virtual Support Group (2nd Tuesday of every month from 7 - 8:30 pm) for men to come together monthly to connect, receive support and share experiences as caregivers. Our group is led by experienced facilitators. 

As well, join us May 13th, for the Caregivers Connect: BC’s Virtual Support Group (2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 2 - 3:30 pm *please see above Caregiver Celebration on May 27th).

This group brings people from across the province together around a mutual experience of caregiving for a family member or friend. This is a time for reassurance and connection, where caregivers can realize they are not alone.

You must pre-register to join each session!

Join our Upcoming Webinars and Workshops

Upcoming Facebook Live Sessions

On May 4th at 9 am join Kate Landreth for a 10-minute Mindfulness Practice on Facebook Live. Kate will guide you through a practice that encourages you to pause, be aware of your experience and your body, mind and spirit. We will welcome in deep breathing and kindness to help support and regulate the nervous system.

New to Facebook Live? It is a live recording on the Family Caregivers of BC Facebook Page. You can join during the live time or the recording is saved for you to watch at another time—similar to our webinars! Our Facebook Live sessions are shorter, bite-size learning opportunities for caregivers and our community.

 

Virtual Journal Workshop - Summer Sessions

Join us for a private, safe, reflective writing group for family caregivers, focused on compassionate self-nurturing. Participants write privately in their individual, structured journal workbooks.

Dates: The 6 sessions (90 min) will take place on: May 25, June 01, June 8, June 15, June 22 and June 29 at 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.

To participate, register by Monday, May 17th (limited spots).

 

Lunch + Learn Panel May 12: Implications of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for people providing care to seniors

FCBC is pleased to be part of an important panel discussion hosted by BCCPA. During the COVID-19 pandemic the issue of vaccination of front line staff has been top of mind for those providing care and services to our most vulnerable seniors population. FCBC’s perspective is that family and friend caregivers are also on the front lines, and should be included in ethical, practical and policy discussions. Join FCBC’s Executive Director, Barb MacLean, and other panel guests, to discuss implications of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations, allowing the refusal of vaccinations, and making trade-offs between personal liberty and public health. Quebec has passed a bill mandating vaccination or regular screening for all front line health care workers. While BC has not indicated it will take similar action, there have been calls from the Canadian Medical Association and from some care providers to advocate for this.

Mental Health & Caregiver Resources

In our Caregiver Learning Center we have many resources to support you. Our resources are categorized into 'Read', 'Watch', 'Listen' and 'Take a Class' - the above resources are found in 'Read' under 'Caregiver Well-Being' - you can click on them to read. We invite you to explore our educational material and if there are topics or resources you would like to see more of please contact and share with: katelandreth@familycaregiversbc.ca

 

Article: Checking In on How You Are Feeling

Caregiver Self-Assessment

Grant Organization Spotlight

Abbotsford Association for Aging

Abbotsford Association for Healthy Aging is a non-profit organization that has been serving the seniors of our community since 1989. We envision a society in which all seniors and their caregivers can live happy and fulfilling lives and in which they feel appreciated and respected.

Our organization supports caregivers through one-on-one support phone calls, online education sessions, and phone support from volunteers who are experienced caregivers.

We can be reached by email at abbycaregivers@gmail.com, by phone at 604-768-5421, with more information on our website at abbotsfordhealthyaging.ca  

 

BC Centre on Substance Use

Thrive offers free, virtual programming to family members and friends who care, without pay, for seniors who use alcohol, or substances. Thrive's team includes Michee Hamilton, program coordinator and support group co-facilitator, and Frances Jasiura, support group co-facilitator. Frances' expertise and co-facilitation services provide caregiver with the opportunity to feel heard and understood. For more information, contact Michee (michee.hamilton@ubc.ca, or 236-335-5793) or visit our website: https://www.bccsu.ca/thrive/. BC Government funded, United Way managed and FCBC supported.

 

Beacon Community Services

BCS has been serving our community since 1974 and offers a variety of services to the community. The BCS SHOAL Centre is where the Family & Friends Caregiver Support Program is hosted.

BCS supports caregivers by offering emotional support through calls and email check-ins. They are connected to community referrals & resources and offered assistance to navigate the health care system. Caregivers attend our virtual caregiver support groups. 

The coordinator can be reached: Phone: 778-351-1446 or Email: jtempleton@beaconcs.ca.

 

Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society

Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society is a charitable society in Burnaby, BC, that supports seniors and assists them in promoting their emotional health, well-being, independence, self-esteem and the achievement of individual goals. 

We provide senior peer support as well as many caregiver support programs including: Caregiver Support Groups, Wellness Series, Educational Workshops, and a Dementia-Friendly Café and Choir for seniors and caregivers.

Caregivers are the backbone of our home health services and we want to ensure we do whatever we can to minimize burnout and maximize support. 

To learn more about our programs, schedules, and how to participate, visit: www.bsoss.org, email: faryar@bbyseniors.ca, or by phone at: (604) 375-5778.

Read the Latest Caregiver Story on our Blog

A Caregiver's Story: Bev

In honour of Family Caregiver Month, we asked our community to share their personal stories about caregiving—the joys, the challenges, insights gained—to share with other caregivers and our larger communities. Here is one such submission…

Read Bev Knapton's story about how she became a caregiver to her mom following a fall - what she expected and what she did not anticipate.

Community Events & Resources

Caregiver's Day of Care

Mount Pleasant, South Vancouver and Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Houses are hosting two celebrations to honour caregivers during Caregiver Awareness month. The two afternoons – May 4 (English) and May 11 (Chinese) – will highlight wellness and joy by offering laughter yoga, music, Memory Tree moments, a presentation from a respite centre, and 3 grand prizes. Our caregivers will receive a gift bag with Memory Tree supplies and donated books from Mount Pleasant library, as well as a delivered meal. 

If you’d like more information about our event, please contact Judy at jvenable@mpnh.org or Ping at ping.chen@southvan.org

Where to Go Next: How the Current Pandemic Has Informed Future Public Health Research Priorities

This presentation by Island Health will look at the current and emerging priorities in public health research in BC. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of health research for informing health care and health policies. Research evidence specific to COVID has informed various aspects of the public health response and identified ongoing public health challenges. Learn what was known from past pandemic responses, what was unique with COVID-19, and how that has shaped current public health research priorities.

When: May 7th from 10 am - 11 am

Aging and Living Well: Beyond Health Considerations for 2SLGBTQI Older Adults

By asking about “aging and living well”, this national interview-based project seeks to expand understandings of aging in 2SLGBTQI communities beyond health alone and to open conversations about how 2SLGBTQI older adults can be better supported to continue to live in the community.


The study involves semi-structured interviews with 2SLGBTQI older adults over the age of 65 living across Canada. They aim to conduct interviews with 25-40 participants.  


The results of this research will be used to help inform educational efforts and awareness campaigns, and inform programming and policy recommendations.


Click here to view the poster.

Programme Aider Sans se Bruler

Réseau-Femmes Colombie-Britannique’s mission is to bring the French speaking-women of British Columbia together, to represent, promote and defend their rights and interests, and contribute to their social, cultural and economic empowerment. In 2019, a program called “Aider sans se brûler” (Caring without burning out) started. Its objectives are to raise awareness about natural caregivers in the French community as well as supporting them through webinars, wellbeing programs and support groups. A first group was created in 2020 to support parents of special needs kids and a second group followed with a more general theme.

Alzheimer's Disease Study

Health Tech Connex is looking to connect with individuals living with Alzheimer’s and/or their caregivers for a new Alzheimer’s study. 

The study is investigating the effectiveness of a photobiomodulation (PBM) device (Neuro RX Gamma), compared to a sham device, with adults (50+ years old) diagnosed with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). 


The non-invasive device delivers near infrared light (NIR), a form of light therapy, through a headset with LEDs on the head, and a small LED in one of the nostrils. The study is approved by Fraser Health, with Dr George Medvedev, as the Principal Investigator. Participants will be compensated $200 over 4 study visits. 

Please contact Gabriela Pawlowski at

604-786-0889 or gabrielapawlowski@healthtechconnex.com

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Questions? Contact us our Caregiver Support Line Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm and Tuesday & Thursday from 8:30 am - 7:00 pm at 1-877-520-3267