/Workshop to help caregivers avoid burnout

Workshop to help caregivers avoid burnout

By Jenn Watt
communities and our health-care system relies on unpaid caregivers –
the spouses, adult children, friends and neighbours who step up to
provide care for loved ones. 
that help can stretch on for months or years, become a full-time job
for some, and cause the caregiver additional stress. 
stress you’re experiencing having to watch that person and make sure
they’re safe, that’s where the struggle happens, emotions and all that
stress. It’s about chronic stress, really,” said Melissa McNamara with
the Central East Local Health Integration Network. 
is organizing a free six-week workshop called Powerful Tools for
Caregivers starting Aug. 27, which meets every Tuesday for an hour and a
half in Haliburton.
“It’s for any caregiver, but what we’re trying to do is avoid the burnout,” she said. 
described burnout as “total physical and emotional exhaustion,” when
the caregiver feels overwhelmed by day-to-day activities, and enjoyable
things no longer bring joy. 
the beginning, caregivers might tackle their new challenge in the way
they handled tending to a child home with the flu: staying home and
dedicating all of their time to look after them. But over time, this
level of exertion can cause problems. 
lot of times what happens is caregivers get so overwhelmed by what
they’re doing and become burnt out that they become ill themselves,” she
Tools for Caregivers gives attendees permission to take care of
themselves and learn the skills they need to manage the situation,
things like how to navigate conflict and protect your own boundaries. 
said organizers with the Central East LHIN noticed several years ago
that there wasn’t enough being offered for caregivers and she and a
colleague travelled to the U.S. to train in the caregiver support
actually the first organization in Canada to deliver this workshop,”
she said. Workshops have been delivered within the region, but never in
workshop (and accompanying workbook) is free, paid for by the Ministry
of Health and Long-Term Care, and can accommodate up to 12 people. This
workshop is geared to adults taking care of adults, though those who
care for children with complex needs could also benefit. Scenarios
addressed include things like downsizing, having discussions on
long-term care, and when it’s no longer safe to drive. 

Tools for Caregivers runs every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. from Aug.
27 to Oct. 1 at Haliburton Highlands Health Services, Haliburton site in
the Ruth Parkes Room. Pre-registration is required. Call 1-866-971-5545
or visit www.ceselfmanagement.ca