Cultivating Change for family caregivers
WoodGreen and Sinai Health System in partnership with The Change Foundation and caregivers to co-design transformative new program.
WoodGreen Community Services and Sinai Health System were recently the successful recipients of a 3-year, $2.25 million grant from The Change Foundation that will support a cross-disciplinary team to transform care experiences, recognize caregivers as essential partners and take action to support caregivers so that they can thrive as members of our community.
Anne Babcock, President & CEO of WoodGreen, acknowledged “we know that transitions out of hospital and into the community require more support. Working together we can have a coordinated effort that provides a unifying experience for the caregiver, a continuous experience of care with seamless transitions.”
The project will build a culture and philosophy of care in which caregivers are partners—not visitors, and where family caregivers are formally identified, valued for their deep knowledge, and actively listened to in order to assess their unique needs. Through this approach, caregivers will be better integrated and connected to community services that enable them to thrive in their role as caregiver, such as WoodGreen’s respite care, adult day programs and counselling and support services, to name just a few.
Across Ontario, an estimated 3.3 million people care for family members in their homes, hospitals or other facilities, representing close to 30% of the provincial population. Many caregivers are working full time jobs and balancing other commitments, while providing care for a loved one. This can be an overwhelming experience.
By bringing together caregivers, patients, clinicians, community leaders, hospital administrators and health services researchers, we hope to change the caregiver experience. Using a co-design method, caregiver input will be a key component of this undertaking as they explore what supports and services would be most useful to them.
Over the next three years, this new project will formally recognize family caregivers for their invaluable role, and integrate them into the care team to best optimize health outcomes for the patient. WoodGreen is excited to work with our partners at Sinai Health System, and caregivers, in a joint process to co-design these care solutions to improve the caregiver experience and strengthen Ontario’s health and community services.