Finding Support

Finding support can be essential at different stages in life and can include everything from help with a job search, dealing with an illness or injury, or finding care for you child or an aging parent. This section is meant to help you find the support you need.

Caring for aging parents? You can’t do it alone. Here is how to get some help.

Caring for aging parents can be as demanding as a full time job. It can involve helping with medical appointments, shopping, dressing and bathing, housekeeping, house maintenance and running errands. Some or all of these tasks are required on a constant, yet often erratic basis, leaving you on call 24/7. Sometimes you need help with only certain elements of your caregiving regime, and you may be able to access those at the community level. In some areas there is a whole laundry list of services to choose from.

Services typically covered by community-funded support include:

  • Adult day programs
  • Transportation
  • Grocery shopping
  • Lawn and snow care
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Wheels to Meals / Congregate Dining
  • Friendly visiting
  • In-home foot care
  • In-home lab testing
  • Home cleaning
  • Seniors' advocacy services
  • Elder abuse support
  • Support for immigrant seniors
  • Hospice care
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Don’t let chronic pain take over your work

Have you been suffering from prolonged chronic pain? Do you feel that medication and treatment was inadequate? Is your everyday life being effected? Managing chronic pain can be complicated and frustrating, because such pain is unpredictable, invisible and not always caused by a single reason. Chronic pain is also associated with mental health issues, and the inability to perform everyday tasks.  

Managing chronic pain may be a long term struggle but it is not impossible.

Here are some tips to help self-manage chronic pain at work, and prevent it from hindering your activities and job tasks:   

  • Set small, achievable goals and take your time – Don’t give up!
  • Gentle and frequent exercise
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle- explore new hobbies, meditation and nutritional diet.
  • Talk to a professional about other forms of treatment and therapies
  • Focus on yourself, take time out for family and plan activities around your needs or pain management schedule
  • Openly communicate your ongoing pain condition and any changes with your boss
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How – and when – to find a retirement home for an aging parent

Caring for older adults with minor illnesses or reduced mobility issues is often easily incorporated into our lives. Caring for loved ones with serious illnesses, however, may be impossible and probably requires the ongoing intervention of trained health care providers. Caring for a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease is more stressful than caring for physically frail older adults because of the problems specific to dementia – disorientation, shifts in personality and physical limitations. When symptoms signal the increased need for supervision, a retirement home may be the best solution for all concerned.

Retirement Home Quick Check List

  • Do the residents look clean and adequately dressed?
  • Look for posting of fire regulations and evacuation routes.
  • How safe is it – are there handrails and non-slip floors, and is it well-lit?
  • Find out the policy on insurance and personal property.
  • Find out what furnishings you can bring, and whether or not telephone and TV are included or possible.
  • Is there a written plan for the care of each resident, and how often is an assessment done?
  • Check out the food – is it edible? Is drinking water easily accessible? Malnutrition and dehydration are common afflictions among seniors.
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Domestic violence at work: Supporting your colleague

Domestic violence constitutes the behavior and actions of one person to gain control and power over someone they are involved with in an intimate or personal relationship. Such behavior includes physical, sexual, emotional, verbal and intellectual abuse and violence. It can be prevalent at work and remain hidden from everyone where a fellow worker can be the victim, or even the abuser. When signs of domestic violence appear at work, it may create a situation where the employees or employer would have to step in to support the victim or handle the abuser. Not only does this create a difficult situation for the worker involved in domestic violence, but it can also be a safety risk for other workers. The question remains, how can you help your fellow worker?

How to help:

Your colleague can be the victim or the abuser, and so there are different ways to approach each situation and help your colleague. The key step is to observe and identify signs of domestic violence at work place such as abuser harassing worker at the workplace, victim showing signs of physical abuse or emotional abuse, or the prolonged absence and mood changes of the victim. Other methods include:

  • If colleague is the victim:
    • Gently initiate the conversation, and give them time to open up
    • Listen patiently, do not judge
    • Encourage sharing with employer or contacting support services
    • DO NOT encourage their confrontation with abuser. Their safety and yours is the most important
  • If colleague is the abuser:
    • Approach your observations when they are calm but do not accuse
    • Inform your employer or support services or the police of your observations
    • DO NOT get involved in a direct confrontation or physical violence with them- Keep yourself safe
    • Share information on support services and resources available for them  
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Towards a Strong Marriage

Marriage is hard. If someone says otherwise they either haven’t been married, or they get paid for making marriage look easy. It requires work, patience, gentleness and daily sacrifices to make the best of it. Selfishness, pride, and simply exhaustion from the daily responsibilities get in the way of what was once promised at the altar – to love. There are days when loving comes easy, and there are days when it just doesn’t come. Without protecting your relationship* there will be more of the latter days then the former, causing suffering in your marriage. This can affect other relationships, work life, and personal wellbeing. It shouldn’t get to this point before a couple recognizes the need to invest in each other and work on their marriage, taking steps to cultivate a warm and supportive relationship. Happy marriages are not fairytales, but to have one both parties need to work on their marriage before the stormy seasons come, so when they come, they will be ready to face them together. 

Three ways to strengthen your marriage:

Communicate – it is true that communication is key, but only when its aim is to reconnect.

 

Making your spouse a priority – other relationships will benefit if this one is going strong. 

 

Set time aside for each other – and out of the house. Date night is a thing!

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External Links

Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health

The Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health is the leading national foundation for women’s sexual and reproductive health. The CFWH is a registered charity.

You may find this site useful if you want:

  • To access health resources on women’s sexual and reproductive health
  • To access credible sexual health information for teens, adults, parents,
  • Information on healthy pregnancy
  • To learn more about menopause
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Heads Up Guys

Based out of The University of British Columbia this site is focused on helping men establish health strategies for managing depression. It provides information about depression in men, suicide, risk factors and triggers.

You may find this site useful if you want:

  • to understand what depression is and how it can impact you
  • practical tips and other information on how to take action
  • access information, campaigns and real life stories
  • to help your family member
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Ontario Caregiver Coalition

According to the Ontario Caregiver Coalition 1 in 5 Ontarioians are caregivers. This website is designed to help those individuals by providing a listing of provincial and federal resources that family caregivers can contact to inquire about local services or to find peer support.

You may find this site useful if you:

  • Are new to caregiving and need help fining resources in your community
  • Need information about Ontario’s Family Caregiver Leave or the Canada Revenue Agency Family Caregiver Tax Credit
  • Want to connect with other caregivers
  • Want to learn more about being an advocate for caregiving
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Patients Like Me

This is a social network site where people can track their own health data, help others, by sharing experiences living with disease. Where newly diagnosed patients can improve their outcomes by connecting with and learning from others who've gone before them. Where researchers learn more about what's working, what's not, and where the gaps are, so that they can develop new and better treatments.

You may find this site useful if you:

  • Want to talk to others experiencing chronic illness about various topics such your illness, parenting, treatments and faith
  • Learn more about treatment options
  • Learn more about recent research
  • Want to access a digital health learning system that uses the most advanced technologies to help you better understand wellness, aging, and disease
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About Kids Health

AboutKidsHealth is a health education website for children, youth and their caregivers. It is designed to empower families by making complex health information easy to understand.

Topics covered on this site include:

  • An alphabetical listing of health topics
  • An alphabetical listing of drug information
  • Access to learning hubs
  • Information on ages and stages, healthy living and prevention
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Family caregiving: What are the consequences?

28% of the population aged 15 and over, provided care to family members or friends with a long-term health condition, a disability or problems associated with aging. Among these family caregivers, 39% primarily cared for their father or mother, 8% for their spouse or partner, and 5% for their child. The remaining (48%) provided care to other family members or friends.

This report:

  • Profiles Canadian Caregivers
  • Discusses the psychological, health and financial consequences
  • Lists resources for family members
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Canadian Virtual Hospice

The Canadian Virtual Hospice site provides support and information about palliative and end-of-life care to patients, family members, healthcare providers, researchers and educators.

You may find this site useful if you:

  • Have questions you want to ask a clinical team specialized in palliative care
  • Need information about managing symptoms, accessing financial benefits, or help navigating the healthcare system
  • Are healthcare professional looking for tools and resources
  • Just want to talk
  • You want to support a family member or friend who is dying
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Home Care Ontario

Home Care Ontario, the voice of home care in Ontario™, is a member-based organization representing providers of quality home care services from across Ontario.

You may find this site useful if you:

  • Want a better understanding of how home care works and types of care that may be helpful
  • Want to find a home care provider
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My Health Matters

My Health Matters delivers health information based on your personal health priorities and your individual life stage. Our articles, videos, recipes and interactive tools will help you manage and improve your health. All the content is developed and written specifically for women by the experts at Women's College Hospital

You may find this site useful if you want:

  • Search health related content by your age
  • Identify health priorities
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Sex and U

SexandU.ca takes a real-life approach to the questions and issues around sex and sexuality that matter most to Canadians. From talking about sex, to lifestyle choices, to contraception awareness and sexually transmitted infections, SexandU.ca provides accurate, credible, and up-to-date information and education on topics related to sexual and reproductive health. SexandU.ca is an initiative of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, Canada’s leading authority on sexual and reproductive health.

On the site you will find information about:

  • Your body and sex
  • LGBTTQ+
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy
  • Consent
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Caring for Kids

Caring for Kids provides parents with information about their child’s and teen’s health and well-being. Because the site is developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) you can be sure the information is reliable. The information should not be used as suitable for medical care and advice, if you have specific concerns about your child’s health, please see your child’s paediatrician, family physician or other health care provider.

Topics covered on this site include:

  • A pregnancy and babies
  • Healthy bodies
  • Keeping kids safe
  • Growing and learning
  • Illnesses and infections
  • Immunization
  • Behaviour and parenting
  • Teen Health
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On Demand Smart Chatbot For Caregivers

This AI Chatbot was built by scientists to support caregivers. Elizzbot  was developed by SE Health a not-for-profit social enterprise applying knowledge, vision and drive to forever impact how people live and age at home, today and into the future. Elizzbot is designed to use proven therapy techniques to provide unbiased emotional support and to help caregivers practice self care by strengthening emotional resilience and promoting wellbeing.

How it is built

  • Empathy – Elizzbot understands family caregivers and have tools made just for caregivers, including reframing guilt, self compassion, and motivation quotes!
  • Technology – Elizzbot remembers conversations and can develop context to keep improving the relevance of my responses.
  • Science – Elizzbot stores 700+ topics including techniques like mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to help you reframe negative thoughts
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Carers Canada

A carer is a person who takes an unpaid caring role for someone who needs help because of a physical or cognitive condition, an injury or a chronic life-limiting disease. Did you know that 8.1 million Canadians are carers and 50% of these carers are between the ages of 45-65? It is difficult to juggle your work and caregiving responsibilities. Carers Canada is an national coalition of federal and provincial organizations that identifies and responds to the needs of caregivers by promoting awareness of the role and value of carers, supports informing and influencing government policies and programs and stimulates collective action that addresses carers’ priorities and needs.

You may find this site useful if you:

  • Looking for caregiver support
  • Want to access support and resources
  • Information on creating a supporting carers within the workplace
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Canadian Men’s Health Foundation

According to the Canadian Men’s Health Association “The statistics around men’s health in Canada are alarming; men are 40% more likely to die from cancer, 70% more likely to die from heart disease and live an average of nine years of their lives in extremely poor health. 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles. With good information and easy tips, we know every guy can make small changes to make him feel healthier, and will benefit his family and community.

You may find this site useful if you want:

  • Hear men’s health experiences from other men
  • Learn about the Don’t Change Much campaign which is a resource dedicated to inspiring men and their families to lead healthier lives.
  • To access health resources, infographics, guidelines and a “manopedia” which discusses topics like prostrate health, and health related to the penis and testicles
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Seniors for Seniors

Seniors for Seniors is a site that combines quality care with companions close in age to those needing support. Sharing common experiences is an essential component of compassionate caregiving. The site can help provide mature companions t assist seniors in living in happier, more independent lives in the comfort of their own home, retirement community or long term care facility.

Services that can be accessed include:

  • Personal and Homemaking
  • Companions
  • Driver Companions
  • Live-in Companions
  • Overnight Assistance
  • House Cleaners
  • Drop In Companions
  • Foot Care Services
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Finding Childcare

This Government of Ontario website provides great information on finding childcare. 

On this site you will find

  • Information on, and benefits of, various child care options
  • Information about before and after school care
  • Key dates in the school year
  • How to get help paying for your childcare
  • How issue a complaint about a child care provider
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Alzheimer Society Canada

The Alzheimer Society is the leading not-for-profit health organization working nationwide to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and advance the search for the cause and cure. Active in communities right across Canada, the Society has programs and services near you.

At this site you can access information about:

  • Learn about dementia and living with dementia
  • Where you can access programs and services near you
  • Resources for:
    • People with dementia
    • Caregivers
    • Healthcare professionals
    • First responders
    • Financial advisors
  • Research
  • News and Events
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