The Cummings Centre is uniquely placed within the community to understand and respond to the evolving needs of the caregiver. Caregivers are often too busy taking care of others not realizing the very real psychological and physical consequences their caregiving duties have on them.
The Caregivers Conference
The Social Action Committee at the Cummings Centre made up of volunteer members alongside agency professionals from both the Programming and Volunteer Departments, is presenting a Caregivers Conference on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. This full-day event, open to anyone who is a caregiver of a family member, spouse loved one or friend and professionals and volunteers working with caregivers, will explore what it means to be a caregiver. Experts in the field will examine the changing face of caregiving and the resources available for caregivers at the Centre and in the greater community. “The range of speakers will address many relevant issues surrounding caregiving from defining the roles of a caregiver to maximize the use of technology, financial and legal issues involved in caregiving and the very relevant topic of how to navigate the system to provide the best care possible for a loved one,” points out Stefani Novick, Program Manager.
The duties of a caregiver
The duties of a caregiver can vary from simple tasks such as meal preparation and running errands for a family member with mobility issues through to assuming greater responsibilities for a loved one dealing with the after-effects of a stroke, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or negotiating the hurdles associated with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Seniors’ often assume the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities for a spouse or a child. “The face of caregiving is changing,” reflects Joy Lawee, Volunteer Department Staff Associate. “Older adults are increasingly finding themselves caring for spouses, siblings and children while younger adults may be caring for parents and children at the same time as part of the sandwich generation.” Statistics Canada reported in its sweeping 2016 demographic study, that seniors in Canada outnumbered children for the first time in recorded history with 80% of all care given to seniors provided by informal caregivers such as a spouse.
Pre and post-rehabilitative programs
With its long history of offering relevant programs and services to the vibrant baby boomer as well as the more frail senior, the Cummings Centre has its finger on the pulse of this unique demographic. “We offer pre and post-rehabilitative programs and services as well as a variety of support groups maintaining constant contact with caregivers and their evolving needs,” points out Novick.
The conference is set to begin at 12 pm featuring keynote speakers, workshops and break-out sessions, ending at 8:30 pm allowing caregivers still in the workforce to attend. An optional boxed dinner can be purchased along with separate fees for day and evening or day or evening attendance. As an added benefit to Cummings Centre members, plenary sessions will be live-streamed through the Virtual Learning Program for a nominal fee.