CCAC expanding program to Barry’s Bay

RENFREW COUNTY – In celebration of National Caregiver’s Day and to help more seniors with dementia and their caregivers, the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) has expanded its caregiver support program.

According to the centre, as the population ages, more and more family members, and other caregivers will face the challenges of caring for loved ones with dementia. Building on the centre’s Elder Mediation Program, their expanded program, will use certified elder mediators to help family members and caregivers to get support and identify stressors, and gaps in care.
And now, with more health care professionals than ever, qualified and ready to begin certification as elder mediators, the centre is expanding their program. For Renfrew County community members, this means services will now be accessible.
“This program works on a simple principle,” Vice-President for Clinical Care for the Champlain CCAC, Kim Peterson said. “Caregivers of clients with dementia need help to reduce the burden of care and people in their network of family, friends and neighbours want to help.”
Sylvia Diagle, 78, is the primary caregiver of her husband, John, 84, who has dementia. She’s recently worked with the CCAC and their newly expanded program, and she says she’s grateful.
“I realized – and they realized – I need a break,” Sylvia said. “I need help. I can’t do it all myself.”
Now, Sylvia has personal support services three afternoons a week. Soon, she will also have respite care.
At the core of the Respite Relief and the Elder Mediation Programs, the centre aims to give caretakers a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for an individual with dementia. The break is intended to give caregivers opportunities to recharge themselves, the centre outlines.
Respite can be accessed for up to 90 days per year, the centre explains. There is a daily fee for the respite program, however.
The CCAC connects people – their work in the surrounding areas with seniors with dementia has recently received international and regional recognition. Their dementia initiative was recognised as a leading practice and received the 2012 Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario Award for Exemplary Leadership and Commitment to the Development of Geriatric Services. In addition, at the 2012 World Summit & Symposium in Glasgow, Scotland,
Champlain’s CCAC and the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District were awarded the Elder Mediation International Network Special Recognition Award for their Respite and Relief Program.
In the Champlain region, there are over 18,000 seniors living with dementia, according to the CCAC. This number is expected to increase by nearly 30 per cent by 2020, the centre adds. For every person diagnosed with dementia, there are about nine others who are affected and concerned about the level of care.
Since 2009, certified elder mediators have helped nearly 338 elderly clients living with dementia and their families, and caregivers. This has also helped individuals to stay in their own homes and avoid early admission to hospitals, or long-term care facilities.
The centre’s current goal is to expand the Elder Mediation Program across the entire Champlain region, which includes, Ottawa, Renfrew County, Prescott Russell, Stormont Dundas, Glengarry, North Lanark and North Grenville, so more people can benefit from the benefits their programs have to offer.
For some caretakers, this means they can continue to work because they have support, the centre elaborates. But nevertheless, for each person, the plan is unique – and the results show, that families that use the service, are given support to continue to live at home given the respite and relief they receive, Manager of Communications, Jennifer Schenkel explained.