Programs that use federal, provincial, local and/or other funding to provide financial assistance for family members (or other persons such as neighbours) who are serving as informal primary caregivers for frail elderly individuals or, in some cases, for adults with disabilities; for grandparents caring for grandchildren; or, in some jurisdictions, for families caring for children with severe disabilities. Age and other eligibility criteria may vary by area. Assistance may be provided in the form of cash to the consumer/caregiver, vouchers which can be redeemed with approved service providers or through pro bono services donated by local service providers to a service bank for family caregivers. The objective of the program is to make it possible for primary caregivers to obtain the assistance they need in order to continue in their caregiving role which, in turn, enables the frail elderly individual or person with a disability to remain in the community.
Programs that provide information, guidance and assistance that supports the ability of family members and other informal caregivers to make decisions and solve problems relating to their caregiving role. The service helps the caregiver find practical solutions to concerns about the health and wellbeing of the care recipient; and may be provided via an advice line or an online chat service as well as in in-person settings.
Programs that provide training for family members and other informal caregivers which focuses on care-related activities such as medication management, personal care and making the home environment safe and barrier-free as well as on stress management and other techniques to help the caregiver take care of him or herself. The focus of the training is on building the skills and capacity of the caregiver to manage their caregiving role. Some programs include a caregiver assessment, development of an individualized plan that focuses on the caregiver, setting goals and establishing a routine for ongoing support for the caregiver.
Programs that provide emotional support, information and guidance in individual and/or group settings for family members, friends, significant others, non-familial caregivers or attendants who are caring for someone who has a serious illness or disability or who is elderly and increasingly unable to provide for his or her own care, and are feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities and the effect that their caregiving role has had on their lives.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.