Manitoba

Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat

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Information on Caregiving

A caregiver is a person who provides informal and unpaid personal care, support or assistance to another person because that other person has an illness, disability or challenge due to aging.  As a caregiver, you may be helping your parent attend doctor’s appointments, bringing over groceries on a weekly basis or living with your loved one so you can administer medications and provide personal care.

Whether you are starting your caregiving journey or are years into it, you will find information on the following topics:

Important Publications:

Important Links:

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Getting started.  I am not sure where to go.

Caregiving can be extremely rewarding but it can also be challenging.  Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Medical condition/diagnosis – The first step is to get more information about the medical condition/diagnosis.  What can you expect to see happen to your loved one?  How do you know when things are getting worse or better?  What medications are being prescribed and why? For more information on safe questions to ask the physician, visit the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety (http://www.safetoask.ca/).

There are many organizations in Manitoba that specialize in supporting people who have been diagnosed with a medical condition (ie. Alzheimer Disease, ALS, MS or Heart Disease) and their caregivers.  They often have information on the condition, special supports, counselling services and support groups available.  To locate one, contact the Seniors Information Line at 204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565 or visit the Health and Wellness section of the Manitoba Seniors’ Guide PDF.

  • Programs and Resources – Finding programs and resources to support your loved one can be frustrating.  Whether you are looking for more information on what financial benefits your loved one is entitled to receive or trying to connect your loved one with social activities in their neighbourhood, the Manitoba Seniors’ Guide PDF is a good place to start.  It lists all the programs and services available to seniors living in Manitoba and their caregivers.   To order a copy or ask a question, call the Seniors Information Line at 204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565.

Connecting with your Seniors Community Resource Council or Senior Centre in your loved one’s community is also another great way to find out what programs and resources are available.  They offer a variety of programs such as seniors congregate meal programs, seniors transportation programs, health and wellness programs and physical activity opportunities.  To locate one in your community, see the Manitoba Seniors’ Guide or call the Seniors Information Line at 204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565.

  • Planning and Preparing – Spending time planning for the future and preparing for the next stage of life is often very difficult but extremely worthwhile.  Having conversations about your loved one’s wishes for the future will help you and the rest of the family support them in making decisions.  Here are some things to consider:
    • Has a power of attorney, will and health care directive been prepared?  For more information on these legal documents, see the Legal Information Guide for Seniors. PDF
    • What type of future health care does your loved one want to receive?  For more information on advance care planning, visit the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
    • Does my loved one want to age in place (remain in their home or community for as long as safely possible)?  How can we plan for this?  What is needed to support my loved one?

For more information on caregiving, see the Guide for the Caregiver – Information and Resources for Caregivers of Older Adults. PDF

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What supports and financial programs are available to me as a caregiver?

Caregiving can be rewarding but it can also effect people in many different ways.  Sometimes it impacts people emotionally and sometimes it impacts people financially.  You may find the following resources for caregivers helpful to you during your journey:

Caregiver Guide – Information and Resources for Caregivers of Older Adults - contains an overview of the programs and supports available to caregivers including how to access support groups.

Manitoba Seniors Guide – contains a section on “4.0 Caregiving and End-Of-Life Care”

Financial Resources:

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What supports are available for my loved one?

The Manitoba Seniors’ Guide is a listing of all the programs and services available to older Manitobans. This a great place to start if you are wondering what is available or if you are looking for a specific resource to help with transportation or housing.

You can also call us on the Seniors Information Line at 204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565.  Another great place to connect with is your Seniors Community Resource Council in your neighbourhood or Senior Centre.  They can offer you information on local neighbourhood programs and services such as congregate meal programs for seniors, transportation programs or wellness classes.

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I am an employed caregiver, what is available to me and how do I talk to my employer?

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I am feeling overwhelmed and need someone to talk to.

The caregiving journey can be emotional for the caregiver and the older person receiving care.  Feeling guilty, overwhelmed, alone, angry, frustrated and depressed are all normal feelings.  Help is available.

  • Rupert’s Land Caregiver Services – Offers a range of support services for family caregivers of persons 55+ including telephone support – 204-452-9491
  • Disease Specific Organization – many disease specific organizations such as the Alzheimer Society or MS Society offer counselling support to caregivers.  To find one, view the Manitoba Seniors’ Guide or call the Seniors Information Line at 204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565.

If you feel like you need a break, talk to your Home Care Case Coordinator or contact your local Regional Health Authority Office to discuss respite care.  Respite care provides relief to caregivers of home care clients who require up to 24 hour care and supervision.  Rupert’s Land Caregiver Services can also provide short term respite.

For more information on accessing counselling services, view section 7.9 of the Manitoba Seniors’ Guide.  If you need to speak to someone immediately, contact the Klinic Crisis Line at 204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019.

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We have a problem and I am not sure where to go.

Everyone runs into road blocks.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Here are some organizations that can help you:

  • Seniors Information Line – Provides information on a variety of programs and services available for Seniors and their caregivers -  204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565 or seniors@gov.mb.ca
  • Rupert’s Land Caregiver Services – Provides a range of support services for family caregivers of persons 55+, including information and help problem solving – 204-452-9491
  • CONTACT Community Information– Provides information and referrals to various services and programs – 204-287-8827

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What is the Caregiver Recognition Act?

http://www.gov.mb.ca/shas/cgsupport/cra.html

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I am interested in learning more about Manitoba’s Caregiver Advisory Committee

http://www.gov.mb.ca/shas/cgsupport/cac.html

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