The Hidden Patient

Originally published on Dec 8, 2015:

Did you get to watch The Agenda with Steve Paikin on December 4, 2015? The program was called The Hidden Patient TVO: When the Caregiver Needs Care.

Last week’s show highlighted a number of key issues that continue to stress the need for health care navigation and access to resources.

A few reminders: there are 6 million working caregivers in Canada and 35% of working Canadians are caregivers. Twenty % of working caregivers have health issues.

Employers have to do a better job of understanding the role of being a caregiver and realize that their most important asset- their employees- need help to be able to focus on their job. Win – Win.

We know that family caregivers are stressed. They worry and they also feel guilty.

The ‘know your options and resources’ slogan is part of any and every presentation I give. There are numerous resources available, however knowing how to access them and what is appropriate and when, is the key.

Besides education (what is this disease process, will it be progressive or short term, what can I as a working daughter do?), having a safe place to unload (fear, guilt, loss and worry) and getting professional direction, information (options and resources) and a Plan of Care, is key to managing. There is assistance available and yes some of it may be outside of our current public offerings.

Thank you Mr. Paikan for highlighting these important issues once again.

My takeaway?  If you are not a caregiver today, you will likely be in this role in the future.  We need to:
 Keep talking
 Keep learning
 Ask questions and
 Think outside of the box.

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