Learning how to get the help you need as a caregiver

What kind of help do I need? Who do I ask for that kind of help? How do I keep track of tasks and appointments and who is doing what? These are just some of the questions that caregivers need to answer – often every day. Navigating the health and social care systems can be overwhelming, especially when caring for a person with a progressive brain disease.

Parkinson Canada, in partnership with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Alzheimer’s Society, will broadcast a second webinar especially designed to meet the needs of caregivers on May 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EDT. “Learning how to get the help you need – a webinar for caregivers on how to navigate the health and social care systems,” consists of a one-hour presentation followed by an interactive question and answer session.

“At the core of this webinar is the recognition that one individual caregiver cannot possibly meet all of the needs of their loved one,” says Robert TerSteege of Parkinson Canada, one of the webinar’s presenters. “We will guide participants through the process of determining what help they need, where they may find it and how to ask for the help they need.”

TerSteege was the primary caregiver for his late fiancé for about a year, seven years ago, and is a Certified Information Referral Specialist (CIRS.) He will be joined by Valerie Borggard, Navigator for the MS Knowledge Network, to provide an overview of how care partners can navigate different systems and consider different resources to help support themselves and their loved ones.

“It can be difficult to first identify the issue you need to resolve and then to target where to find the resources you need,” says TerSteege, “Keep in mind that there are three levels of government in Canada – federal, provincial and municipal – and several departments at each level. There is not really a single system, but several systems to navigate. There are also community and charitable resources available, as well as an individual’s personal support network to call upon. This webinar should give participants some guidance on how to get the help they need.”

To join the live webinar, you need to register in advance. You’ll also need access to a computer and the Internet. Following the broadcast, the webinar will be posted on Parkinson Canada’s website so you can watch and listen at your own convenience. We will also be posting on the website some of the helpful tools introduced in the webinar, like the “Honey Do” List:  for those ‘if there’s anything I can do’ moments and a chart for Planning for When I Will Need Help (appointments, drives, and other ‘no miss’ days.)

If you haven’t watched it yet, you may want to check out the previous webinar for caregivers: Taking care of yourself through the ups and downs of caregiving. Care partners can also find other information and resources on our website or by calling Parkinson Canada’s Information and Referral Centre at 1-800-565-3000.

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