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Small Dose of Private Home Care Goes a Long Way to Alleviate Family Caregiver Distress

By September 16, 2015May 26th, 2017Moments

Vancouver, BC – Arranging just a few hours of private home care per week for a loved one can alleviate stress and help avoid distress in family caregivers, a common problem amongst British Columbia families, according to a new report.

As reported Monday by CBC News, a recent report by the Seniors Advocate British Columbia claims nearly a third of unpaid family caregivers are stressed out to the point of breakdown due to serious gaps in seniors respite programs.

Isobel Mackenzie says her report proves B.C. has some of the worst levels of stress and distress among family caregivers in Canada, and is calling for improved access to adult day programs and respite beds, as well as increased in-home support.

Susan Fulton, Clinical Leader for private home care provider Classic LifeCare, sees many families when they have almost reached, or are already in the stages of burnout or distress when they call for home support.

“Even a two- or three-hour break can be enough to revitalize the caregiver/family member and provide them some room to breathe,” says Fulton. “We find that children caring for a parent or an individual caring for their spouse is often in great need for a break just so they can go back to being the daughter or the husband, rather than the caregiver. If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will take care of others? It is important for us all to have good life balance so we can continue to give of ourselves when family or loved ones need us most.”

When choosing an private home care provider from the highly unregulated private home care space, ensuring an agency is accredited by Accreditation Canada means a third party has verified the agency in terms of quality and client and employee safety.

Classic LifeCare, which is accredited with commendation by Accreditation Canada, provides in-home support; both live-in and live-out services. A Health Care Worker can help with housework, personal care, meal preparation and complex care needs. One of the benefits of private over public home care is that the client is in the driver’s seat. Care can be completely tailored to the individual’s requests.

The Seniors Advocate report collected data from “over 30,000 of our frailest seniors who are living in the community.”

Report findings include:

  • Twenty-nine per cent of caregivers are in distress.
  • Unpaid caregivers provide 19 hours of care per week on average. This increases to 30 hours per week for caregivers in distress
  • Fifty-four per cent of caregivers would benefit from respite services,  however few are accessing the help.
  • There has been a reduction of clients and utilization in adult day programs in the last three years.
  • Home support services are not keeping pace with the aging population.

For more information about Classic LifeCare, visit www.classiclifecare.com, or phone 604-263-3621.