FAQs About Family Caregiver Support Programs

A quick crash course for caregivers.

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  • In-Person Support Groups — Many of these are virtual for the time-being because of COVID-19, but will resume when they are able to.
  • Helplines The Ontario Caregiver Helpline can help connect caregivers to support resources such as respite, and/or support groups or programs in their community. The number to call: 1–833–416–2273 (CARE).
  • Online Caregiver Forums — These are sites where caregivers can post questions and receive answers from other caregivers. There are also some sites and Facebook groups that are monitored by professionals who answer questions, i.e. The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes by Pamela D Wilson.
  • Online Membership Caregiver Support Programs — These are similar to forums and can be monitored or unmonitored, either by a caregiver who has become the leader of the group or by a professional.
  • Online Caregiver Courses — There are some good caregiver courses offered for different purposes. Keep reading to learn which ones are best suited to your needs!
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  • Family Education CMHA Toronto’s Family Outreach & Response Program (FOR) provides support for recovery, counselling and group programming.
  • NAMI Education Program — CMHA Toronto offers a free course that is taught by family members, which is designed for family members of people with schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, or who exhibit any symptoms of these diagnoses.
  • Caregiver Education Sessions — Institute for Advancements in Mental Health (IAM) offers a program that covers challenges families and caregivers face, handling stress and anxiety relating to the pandemic, and ways to cope with increased burden of care.
  • CBT-p for Caregivers — IAM also offers a caregiver workshop that provides practical tools to help to reduce anxiety and depression in caregivers, increase resiliency, and increase the ability to encourage recovery in their loved one.
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  • Community & Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS) offers caregiver support groups free of charge in the Toronto area: Richmond Hill, Aurora, Thornhill, Vaughan, Bradford, Sutton, Newmarket and Markham. CHATS support groups allow caregivers to share their experiences, strategies, strengths, and to find new coping strategies when challenges arise.
  • The Ontario Caregiver Organization offers online support groups to caregivers during COVID-19, as well as for young caregivers.
  • The Reitman Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital offers CARERS Group and TEACH Group Programs, which are skills-based training programs for family members caring for a loved one with dementia.
  • National Association of Area Agencies on Aging — Their mission is to support people as they age, and help older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Eldercare Locator — A public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, which connects you to services for older adults and their families.
  • Family Care Navigator (Services by State) — This tool helps family caregivers locate public, non-profit, and private programs and services closest to their loved one. Some resources include government health and disability programs, legal resources and disease-specific organizations.
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