Information for Caregivers

Take Care of Yourself!
Develop a Care Plan
Four Ways to Keep Track of Personal Information
Important Documents to Have in Place
Emergency Plan
When You Aren’t There
Community Resources and Information

Take Care of Yourself!

Caregiving is demanding. Do not neglect your own well being. Learn more about self-care at Self-Care for Caregivers Link to external site.

Develop a Care Plan

Crisis Outreach and Support Team
Telephone: 1-877-825-9011
Contact this hotline for emergency assistance when dealing with difficult behaviours due to dementia /mental health issues.
There are many things you can do to develop a comprehensive care plan for themselves or loved one. Things can include:

  • Develop a plan with family, friends and the person needing care. Provide them with information e.g., key contacts, emergency plan, available community and health supports
  • Before appointments with a health professional make a list of questions. Remember, you are a key resource for the person needing care. Work with others to find creative solutions.
  • Observe and encourage the individual requiring care to maintain daily activities. Foster as much independence as possible.

Victorian Order of Nurses Canada Link to external site provides a helpful website specifically for caregivers.

Four Ways to Keep Track of Personal Information

Keep information in a notebook/calendar (make photocopies) and record the following:

  1. Key information for the person receiving care
    • Ontario health card/additional health coverage card
    • Medical history including allergies and immunizations
    • Current medications and/or medications in original bottles
  2. Contact information for community resources such as physicians and service providers
  3. Questions to ask when you see the people providing service.
  4. Phone numbers of friends and family members

Important Documents to Have in Place

  • Release of Information (authorization to release private information to a third party)
  • Power of Attorney for Property (for all financial matters)
  • Power of Attorney for Personal Care
  • Legal Will
  • Funeral Arrangements (pre-planned)

Emergency Plan

Plan for an emergency - keep a copy with you and give the information to others.

  • List all contacts (physician, family, pharmacist and friends).
  • Use an Emergency Information Vial and wallet sized card to record and store up-to-date information. (See Emergency Preparedness or speak to your pharmacist)
  • Call 911 for emergencies. Paramedics can assess the situation and provide lift assistance.

When You Aren’t There

Consider the following for the person needing care:

  • Answering machine
  • Phone features such as:
    • a) loud ring or lights
    • b) large numbers
    • c) increased numbers of rings
    • d) pre-programmed buttons to friends/family
    • e) highlight one button pre-programmed to dial directly to the caregiver
    • f) pictures on buttons
  • Phone list with large clear writing posted by the phone
  • Schedule of regular visits/calls from caregivers, friends or services
  • Use an Emergency Response System (e.g., ConnectCARE, Lifeline.)

Community Resources and Information