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Care planning

Interacting with the healthcare network

You are a vital care partner - no caregiver should ever be treated as invisible or not be acknowledged for all that they do and need.

As you move through your care experience, you will come into contact with many different touchpoints in the healthcare network—from doctors and social workers to case managers, pharmacists and many more in between. Because you ensure that the person in your care is well supported, you are an important resource within this network. But beyond the services and supports you provide to your loved one, we believe that you are also a vital care partner. Your healthcare providers should actively participate in helping to integrate you as a valued member of the care team.

Below, we compare different caregiver mindsets. Consider what happens when your outlook goes from one of “I am a resource” to one of “I am a care partner.”

Taking care of yourself

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“Resource” mindset
I should be there for my loved one all the time. Any time I take for myself is selfish.

“Care partner” mindset
I can set boundaries and ask for help when I need it because I am not alone in this process.

Being a good advocate

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“Resource” mindset
I shouldn’t say anything because I fear that others will be upset with me, or my loved one will not receive the best care.

“Care partner” mindset
I have a right to ensure that my loved one is receiving the best care and support, and I am free to proactively voice my concerns.

Planning for the future

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“Resource” mindset
I will accommodate all of the recommendations of my healthcare providers.

“Care partner” mindset
I can actively participate in planning for the future health of my loved one, and identify what I can and cannot manage.

Accompanying my loved one to healthcare provider appointments

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“Resource” mindset
I should stay quiet and not voice my point of view.

“Care partner” mindset
My perspective is valuable in reporting on and suggesting possible changes to treatment or care plans.

Managing family expectations

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“Resource” mindset
They are all depending on me, and I can’t let them down. Better I not say anything that will create conflict or rock the boat.

“Care partner” mindset
Everyone in the family has a potential role to play. I can voice my needs and the needs of the person in OUR collective care.

Providing treatments or nursing care

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“Resource” mindset
I should be okay managing all of the care needs of my loved one.

“Care partner” mindset
I can express when I am not comfortable or feeling unsure when asked to undertake specific care tasks.


Explore information and tools for care planning

Preparing for a Doctor’s Visit

A checklist that caregivers can use for initial or repeat visits with physicians.
Read more

My pharmacy checklist

For when first meeting with a pharmacist, sharing an update or filling a new prescription.
Read more

Power of Attorney Forms

Helps caregivers obtain written permission to have their loved one’s healthcare information shared.
Read more

Self-care

Get health tips and recommendations for how to better manage your own health.
Read more

Finding help

Connect with these caregiver support organizations and services to find the right help for you.
Read more

Take a closer look at our care planning tools.

Care during cancer

Information for patients, families and caregivers.
Listen to podcast series

My Proxy Template

We recommend getting permission in writing.
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Remember that you belong there

Stephanie Erickson: Family Caregiver Expert.
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Canadian Virtual Hospice

Information on palliative and end-of-life care.
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Caring Bridge

Share updates and coordinate help.
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Empowering Caregivers

Sasha Dubrovsky: Physician and Caregiver.
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