Talk the talk for better caregiver support

Family caregivers often struggle with not knowing how to speak up and get their message across to key people involved with the person for whom they are caring. Building cooperative relationships starts with effective communication skills – knowing what you want to say at the right time to the right person. It is an acquired skill that can be learned and maintained with frequent practice and patience!

We’ve all had those days where we’ve thought to ourselves, “Hmmm… That conversation did not go the way I wanted it to.” Our ability to communicate can easily be derailed when we are under the stress of an emergency or trying to balance work, parenting all while being a caregiver. Rushing a conversation, making assumptions about the other person or not being present in the dialogue are common culprits in miscommunication and conflict.

Yet, as family caregivers, the role of being a care recipient’s voice and key support person is critical. As a caregiver you have the best understanding of what the care recipient needs, the inside knowledge and experience.   This benefits everyone; your care recipient’s family physician, other professional members of the health care team, home support staff, other family members and concerned neighbours.

Our health care system is designed for the people receiving and using services.  It doesn’t always include the people who are ensuring the care is given and received.  As family caregivers, a key first step you can take to build cooperative relationships with the professionals and people involved in care is to establish yourself as part of the care team.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

– Who to go to for your health needs;

– How to speak the health care system language;

– How to establish yourself as part of the care team;

– Communication strategies you can use with anyone on the care team and the person you are caring for.

There will be a question period at the end of the presentation.

  1. Sheila Armstrong has an extensive background in nursing from the whole person perspective including social economic determinants of health and mental wellness. She has worked across the care continuum, from acute care to community with a large portion of time spent overseeing the placement of care recipients into facility-based care when needed.

  1. Wendy Johnstone is a program consultant with Family Caregivers of BC. She brings almost 20 year’s experience as a Gerontologist to her consulting role supporting the Provincial Caregiving program. Through 1:1 Caregiver Coaching sessions she supports family caregivers to make informed decisions and action plans while they navigate health care and social systems and provides emotional support. She is also actively involved in health care sector engagement work and writes articles for family caregivers in INSPIRE Senior Living magazine.