New technology links pharmacists with caregivers to support loved ones
Caring for an aging or ill loved one? Feeling stressed, isolated or uncertain in how to provide the best care? You are not alone.
As Canada’s population ages, more than 8.1 million family and friend caregivers have become an essential member of their loved one’s healthcare team. With current efforts underway to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 infection rate, even more Canadians are being called upon to provide care to those who are ill or self-isolated.
In 2018, Teva Canada recognized caregivers’ need for information and the opportunity to empower pharmacists to make the connection with caregivers; driving them to develop free resources to educate and support the caregivers who care for their loved one.
Teva Canada partnered with Huddol to create the free Caregiver-Friendly Pharmacy program that includes:
- accredited training for pharmacy teams
- a designated caregiver website that offers downloadable resources, tools and checklists, videos of carers and essential legal information and guidelines for serving as a proxy for a patient (www.tevacaregivers.com)
- a search tool to find a local pharmacy and pharmacist that can support their unique needs and,
- a link to the Huddol community — Canada’s largest online caregiver support network that connects caregivers with peer and expert guidance (huddol.com).
“More than 80 per cent of caregivers pick up medication for the person in their care, and pharmacists are an accessible member of the healthcare team and a critical touch point with caregivers,” says Huddol CEO, Mark Stolow. “Based on caregivers’ need for education and support, Teva Canada saw the opportunity to help optimize the relationship between caregivers and the pharmacy team and provide relevant tools and resources that caregivers are looking for.”
“Since launching nationally less than a year ago, more than 1,600 pharmacists have received training on how to make the care experience easier, “says David Boughner, Teva Canada’s Senior Director, Partnerships and Corporate Communications. “We know the need for this information exists as more than 10,000 Canadians are accessing Teva Canada’s Caregiver website each month looking for free information and resources.”
Mike Boivin, a pharmacist from Barrie, Ontario sees the need first-hand. “With greater access to information, a support network and the pharmacy team, caregivers can feel more empowered in their knowledge and abilities in providing care,” he says. “Pharmacists understand the burden and stressors so many caregivers are experiencing and with this new program, pharmacists can help them feel more confident in caring for their loved one and themselves.”
Free Online Support and Resources at Your Fingertips
Some of the most frequently downloaded online tools on the Teva Canada website are the:
- My Caregiver Handbook – designed to help alleviate stress and anxiety by showing people how to navigate the healthcare system more efficiently, and
- Caregiver Self-Assessment Form which helps to flag for signs of burnout or fatigue to determine if they need help from a health care provider.
At www.tevacaregivers.com, caregivers can also find instructive guides for caring for people with specific conditions like cancer, dementia and multiple sclerosis, and a ten-episode podcast series on Care During Cancer that explores the most common issues that patients, families and caregivers may experience while living with cancer.
Share the caregiver experience – watch Teva Canada’s Acts of Love video to see the inspiration behind their caregiver commitment.