Making a Difference: Exploring the Experiences and Needs of Caregivers
Funded by a New Horizons for Seniors Grant
Government of Canada
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Method: For diversity, community and partnership purposes, the sample population was comprised of previous caregivers, particularly those over 55, including a Portuguese Women’s group, faith based congregants, caregivers from the Disability and Asian community and Hospice volunteers who had personal and informal caregiver experience. The design evolved into a mixed method approach (focus groups, a resource summary survey, and an online application of the focus group and resource survey questions). There were 91 participants who were recruited through snowball sampling, word-of-mouth and information/promotion initiatives.
Outcomes: The development and facilitation of an enhanced Expressive Arts group format and a Hospice Caregiver Resource Package that integrated the expressed needs of the majority of participants, those supports they would have like to have had but did not receive. Results demonstrated consistent themes: that access to a caregiver support group, being listened to, and strategies for self care, disease and system specific education and assistance with navigation of the healthcare system were needed. Findings were based on narrative not empirical data.