Module summary

Conclusion

I have no regrets about what I am doing; I have moments full of anger and self-doubt, but no regrets.

Some of the key points covered in this module include:

  • Although caregiving will vary according to each person and home situation, and depending on their illness and care needs, it will likely consist of a combination of physical and medical tasks, coordinating services, other home tasks, and emotionally supporting the person in care.
  • Caregiving at home is a monumental undertaking and is not always possible for everyone. It is okay if a family or individual is not able to do this. You may still be able to perform some aspects of care from an alternative location such as a long-term care or palliative care facility.
  • Caregiving can be an all-consuming and exhausting responsibility. By enlisting family and friends to help with home care tasks, you can get some relief and be better able to focus on the person who is ill and find precious time for yourself. 
  • Your healthcare team can help you to review requirements and to decide what equipment, supplies, and services may be necessary to help ensure the safety of everyone in the home.
  • The programs and services that are available often depend on where you live but generally consist of three types of services: provincial, territorial, and federal health services; services provided by not-for-profit or charitable organizations; and private services for a fee.
  • Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship offer support to caregivers. Some may be able to temporarily assist with financial hardship by paying a utility bill or giving grocery gift certificates.
  • Some financial assistance programs and benefits are available through the federal and provincial/territorial governments.
  • In preparing to provide care at home, it is beneficial to do an assessment to see if changes can be made in your living space or lifestyle to enhance safety and comfort. This may include acquiring supplies and equipment specific to the patient’s needs.
  • Other caregiving situations may require additional consideration: when caregiving is expected to span over a long period of time; long distance caregiving; and emergency situations that may arise.