Caregiver support organizations: Building your support network

So much caregiving is complex and involves a lot of moving parts. It helps to see the final picture, and all of the support you have available, before you start putting the pieces together.

Auditing your care situation can mean the difference between always reacting to what is going on and being proactively prepared for what comes next. One is a path to certain stress; the other allows you more flexibility and emotional fortitude when times get tough, because you’re more prepared.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself when you start your care audit:

  • What are the needs of the person in my care—now, short-term and long-term?
  • Who is helping to meet those needs?
  • Are there gaps in those needs being met?
  • Who can fill the gaps?
  • What are my needs?
  • Are my needs being met?
  • Who can support me in meeting my needs?

As you start thinking about meeting needs, consider all of the possible resources that can support you. Those include public, private and community resources, as well as immediate and extended members of your family. The better you are at completing your audit, the easier it will be to identify who can help where and how.

Caregiver support resources available to Canadians

  • Canadian Abilities Foundation

    This online guide has a wide range of resources, including an online magazine, Caregiver Solutions, and more.

  • Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA)

    CHPCA is the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada, advocating for quality end-of-life and hospice palliative care in Canada. They provide resources to family caregivers.

  • Canadian Virtual Hospice

    This website is Canada’s largest repository of information on palliative and end-of-life care for patients, family caregivers, healthcare providers, researchers and educators. It also provides discussion forums and professional advice free of charge.

  • Caregiving Matters

    An internet-based registered charity, Caregiving Matters offers education and support to family caregivers.

  • Carers Canada

    Carers Canada embodies and reinforces the national and international movement to ensure the recognition and inclusion of carers in social policy.

  • Huddol

    At this online community dedicated to all topics caregiving and health, you can talk with experts and meet other caregivers like you. Learn, share and connect with the largest online caregiver support network in Canada.

Alberta

Caregivers Alberta

Caregivers Alberta is an organization of caregivers, for caregivers. They focus on caregivers as individuals, helping them maintain their wellbeing rather than teaching them how to be better caregivers.

British Columbia

Family Caregivers of British Columbia

This non-profit society’s mission is to improve the quality of life for family caregivers through support, information and education. They provide leadership to strengthen the voice of family caregivers and promote the significance of their role.

Nova Scotia

Caregivers Nova Scotia

Caregivers Nova Scotia provides free programs, services, information and advocacy for family and friend caregivers.

Ontario

CaregiverExchange

This site aims to connect family caregivers with a wide range of information, services and supports available in Ontario.

Ontario Caregiver Coalition

This group of individuals and organizations is dedicated to recognizing the importance of unpaid caregivers in Ontario by raising awareness of the value they add to the healthcare system, and by advocating for improved, fair access to needed supports.

Quebec

L’APPUI

Servicing the province of Quebec, l’Appui pour les proches aidants d’aînés was created in 2009 to help improve the quality of life of those providing care to older adults by facilitating their daily tasks and ensuring that they take full advantage of available resources.

Regroupement des aidants naturels du Québec (RANQ)

The RANQ is an organization in Quebec that aims to improve the quality of life of caregivers in Quebec. 

Teva Canada develops treatment options for Canadians across many therapeutic areas. The following health charities and organizations serve caregivers and patients in the areas where we work.

Alzheimer Society of Canada

Through community programs and services, the Alzheimer Society of Canada works across the country to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and to advance the search for the cause and cure.

Autism Canada

Autism Canada advocates for and supports Canadians with autism and their families.

Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

The MS Society provides services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families, and funds research to find the cause of and cure for this disease.

Parkinson Canada

Parkinson Canada provides support services and education to people living with Parkinson’s disease, their families and the healthcare professionals who treat them.

Access information on different financial benefits programs available for caregivers through the Government of Canada.

Accessible Transportation Directorate—Canadian Transportation Agency

In federally regulated transportation services and facilities, this agency ensures that undue obstacles are removed.

If you need to modify a dwelling to make it more accessible, you may qualify for financial assistance from CMHC.

Caregiver incentives and benefits may be available through the CRA.

ESDC offers information on career planning, financial benefits, labour, and workplace training and learning.

The Government of Canada offers information on benefits, tax credits and other assistance to caregivers.

The following organizations are responsible for providing public healthcare and social services within their respective provinces. All health services can be accessed within each province by dialling 811.

Alberta

Alberta Health Services (AHS)

AHS is Canada’s first and largest province-wide, fully integrated health system, responsible for delivering health services to over four million people living in Alberta, as well as to some residents of Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

British Columbia

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)

PHSA has a unique role in BC's health authority system: ensuring that BC residents have access to a coordinated provincial network of high-quality, specialized healthcare services.

Manitoba

Regional Health Authorities (RHA)

Manitoba has five regional health authorities. They are responsible for improving the health system, supporting the region and supporting the health of Manitobans.

New Brunswick

Horizon Health Network

Focused on patient- and family-centred care, Horizon Health Network operates 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices, providing services ranging from acute care to community-based health services.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Health and Community Services

This is a continuum of community-based health services provided through a network of regional health authorities.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Health Authority

Nova Scotia Health Authority provides health services to Nova Scotians and some specialized services to Atlantic Canadians. They operate hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province.

Ontario

Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs)

ServiceOntario INFOline: 1-866-532-3161
LHINs are not-for-profit corporations responsible for planning, delivering and funding local healthcare to 14 different geographic areas of the province of Ontario.

Prince Edward Island

Health PEI

Health PEI is responsible for the delivery of publicly funded health services in Prince Edward Island. The organization operates hospitals, health centres, public long-term care nursing facilities, and community-based programs and services.

Quebec

Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSS) and Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS)

Integrated health and social services centres (Centres intégrés de santé et de services sociaux  or CISSS) and integrated university health and social services centres (Centre intégré (universitaire) de santé et de services sociaux or CIUSSS) ensure accessibility, continuity and quality of services for people in their territory.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Health Authority

The newly amalgamated Saskatchewan Health Authority provides most health services in the province, either directly or through healthcare organizations.

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA)

NTHSSA is responsible for the design and delivery of territorial health and social services planning across the Northwest Territories.

Nunavut

Nunavut Home and Community Care (HCC)

The HCC program helps Nunavummiut care for themselves with help from family and community members while keeping their sense of independence and wellbeing.

Yukon

Yukon Health and Social Services

The mission of Yukon Health and Social Services is to promote, protect and enhance wellbeing through a continuum of quality, accessible and appropriate health and social services.