The Abbotsford Family and Friends Caregiver Support program is funded by the United Way and is currently being rolled out in 17 communities in BC. In Abbotsford, the Abbotsford Association for Healthy Aging will be starting two caregiver support programs.
The program focuses on supporting family and friends who provide unpaid care for older adults living in the community/at home with complex needs – chronic illness, frailty or life-limiting conditions. Programs provide emotional support, social opportunities and education services to enhance caregiver well-being by increasing caregivers’ skills, knowledge and confidence, by supporting caregivers to build strong personal networks, and by empowering effective connections with their health care teams, as valued partners in care.
The first of these programs is a caregiver support group, open to anyone who is providing care-giving support to a senior, regardless of relationship or medical condition of the senior. This program will be free and will be open to any interested caregiver.
The second program will be a caregiver mentor program. This program is designed to give one-on-one practical and emotional support to new caregivers, from experienced caregivers who are interested in supporting those new to the role. This connection will allow new caregivers to receive advice on navigating various systems, including government support, community resources, and the medical system. It will also allow newer caregivers to have a person with whom to share concerns and talk about difficulties that arise during care-giving.
We are looking to connect with those caregivers who would like to learn more about how a support group or mentor support may be of benefit to them, as well as those who would like to volunteer to support newer care-givers.”