Simulation workshops for family caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers
Population aging can entails the transfer of care from the hospital into patient homes. Home care can be an option for patients after hospital stay or as a way to avoid admission altogether. This choice is based upon the desire to remain safely autonomous in a familiar setting for as long as possible, even through illness.
Home care, often given by health professionals such as nurses, and occupational and physical therapists, can also be undertaken by family or professional caregivers, who will accompany patients in their day to day activities and help them groom and feed themselves, clean their home and prepare meals.
With a view to adequately prepare clinicians and family caregivers in their respective home care roles, the Centre of Excellence on Longevity and the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning at McGill University; with the help of Claire Webster, certified counsellor in Alzheimer’s care and founder of Caregiver Crosswalk Inc.; and Olivia Monton, medical student at McGill University; have conceived of a pilot project overseeing the training and support of family caregivers for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
- To support family caregivers through training and empowerment
- To promote awareness of caregivers with regard to their own health
- To direct them to the necessary support and resources
The pilot project (2017/2018) includes the creation of a half-day workshop to answer any questions caregivers may have about the disease. This workshop includes a theoretical portion, teaching caregivers how to care for a person suffering from dementia and for themselves, as caregivers. It also includes a simulation portion, taking place in an apartment setting and teaching them how to make sure the person they are helping is safe at home.
Through training and empowerment, this workshop can support family caregivers and orient them toward the resources which will help them feel supported throughout their task. This pilot workshop was renewed for 2018 and recognized as a great success by participants.
The workshop will be frequently given over 2019, and other workshops will be created as a way to broach different themes, such as risky behaviours, home-safeguarding and disease-related legal considerations.
Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning, McGill University
Caregiver Crosswalk Inc.
Olivia Monton, Student Representative, McGill University
Joseph Kaufmann Chair in Geriatric Medicine, McGill University
Faculty of Medicine, McGill University