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British Columbia V0R 2W0, Canada
tel: 250-743-7621 fax:250-929-7621
email: info@familycaregiverssupport.org
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Supporting Caregiving Families: A Guide for Service

This is the book providing the philosophies and implementation of our caregivers support society

The Cowichan Family Caregivers Support Society was awarded a grant of $116,000 over three years from the Population Health Fund National - a branch of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The society was one of a total of 26 grant recipients across the country and one of only 11 groups in the field of seniors' care. The grant gave the society the opportunity to take our philosophy and model to other small urban, First Nations and rural communities through a book which was written over three years. In a press interview, Society Co-ordinator Ranjana Basu said "We know that some of what we are doing is quite unique and we think that brings with it a responsibility to share the information . . . Our goal was to put together material outlining our level of service, touching on the many things we have learned through the years". The Vancouver Foundation and Vancouver Island Health Authority, Aboriginal Health also co-funded the project.

To put the book together, Ranjana conducted interviews with our staff, caregivers who have received and benefited from our service, health care staff, and others in the community with whom we work. The purpose was to capture the essence of what it is about our service that is helpful; what made it work for them? In this way caregivers and other interview participants were co-creators of the knowledge that is in the guide for service.

Project objectives were:

  • To create resource material - a service guide - that will empower rural and urban communities to develop services to support their seniors and their caregivers.
  • To create resource material that will help First Nations communities to develop services to support their elders and their caregivers.
  • To disseminate information across Canada about a workable, economical and easily adaptable model of support to family caregivers and the seniors for whom they care.
  • This model operates on population health principles of participation and collaboration.
  • To foster collaboration between different regions and sectors through the work of an active Resource Committee; and between all project participants.
  • To begin to establish relationships with communities across Canada that wish to adapt and implement our model so that we may be of support.

This project provides information about a successful community-based service model that applies the population health approach to support seniors and their caregivers. We drew on people of different regions and sectors to create, disseminate and evaluate this service guide. This was done through a Resource Committee which was an active guiding and working group. It monitored the progress of the project; members read and gave feedback to three drafts of the handbook; planned, implemented and monitored evaluation of process and outcomes through the work of an evaluation sub-committee; and planned and implemented a marketing/dissemination strategy through the work of a marketing sub-committee.

The Resource Committee had a variety of sectors represented including health, community, non-profit, volunteer, business, and academic. Participants on the committee included: Seniors and caregivers from different provinces; BC Health Promotion Coalition; Tsewultun Health Centre (Cowichan Tribes); Community Health Consultants (First Nations in BC); Vancouver Island Health Authority; Care Watch Toronto(Ontario); and Family Caregivers Association of Nova Scotia.

Family caregivers and seniors were involved in providing the basis for some of the content of the service guide; as members of the Resource Committee; and as target groups in the marketing of the handbook.

Resource Committee

Vickie Cammack
Doreen Peters
Ethel Meade
Carolyn Singer
Wendy MacPhee-Ebbs
Heather Payne
Sharon Reashore (chair)
Carmen Gendron
Lois Cosgrave
Garth Harvey


The design and layout for the book was done by David and Diana Pink of Pink Creative Concepts (phone:250-733-2635, email: warmland@shaw.ca).


Our thanks to JP Atherton who designed and donated this flyer.

News Items

A Guide for Supporting
Caregiving Families

Nourishing Strengths
and Opening Hearts
This how-to book to empower small urban, rural and First Nations community groups to support family caregivers is available now! For details click here.

Ending the Silence: A documentary on youth caregiving.
Visit the Youth Caregivers Site

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