Caregiver Social-support

August 10, 2020 by jas

Hugging through a computer or your phone is not the same as a sensitive real-life connection, but it helps!

We caregivers sense the void, we even feel empty…it is evident that we need smiles and hugs—in this time of COVID-19 we hunger for socialization opportunities!

There are more than eight million Canadians who provide informal care to a family member or friend (per Statistics Canada 2020).

Imagine the caregivers and loved ones who are ‘socially distancing’ to avoid the potential of being in contact with the COVID-19 virus…distancing…lonely…in despair!

We need to create and take advantage of opportunities for becoming socially CONNECTED.

Because of the virus we are limited more than we would be in normal times. We must be creative! Zoom (two or more online), Skype (video chat), Facetime (for tablet or phone) or other online apps provide solutions for those in a ‘high risk’ age group or who have ‘compromised immune systems.’ Check out Tribute for online special events and recognitions!

Many organizations offer opportunities that support their members, clients, patients, caregivers and loved ones with online events where they can listen or watch, or be fully engaged as they participate.

Be sure to visit the NEW AT HOME ALZHEIMER SOCIETY Micro site, where they have four basic topics:
Education– register for scheduled for online classes
Activities – Strengthen your mind, tours, activity packs
Fitness – yoga, exercises, to stay fit
Support – phone support, counselling services
with easy navigation for convenient caregiving during the COVID-19 and beyond.

Organization events are happening that we don’t always know about, but if we go to various local organization websites, we can search for a list of upcoming events that are open to the public. Or we might be able to become a member or subscriber and participate in those events closed to the public. Each site and organization will be different.

DO NOT WAIT for someone to come to you — CONTACT the organization and get involved, even in COVID-19 times…through zoom, through phone, through applicable teleconferencing, and online programs.

CITY OF BURLINGTON TelePals – click title to browse their site for information on this valuable resource.

FREE Dial-In Programs for adults over 55 years of age. Programs will be either multi-person conversations, question and answer or listening only.

Discussion, social and learning programs. Participants can join in Chat Groups, Listen and Learn, Game Shows, Ask the Expert or Listen for Enjoyment programs. 

BURLINGTON LIBRARIES – The City of Burlington has seven library branches where you can find resources for Alzheimer’s as well as other topics that make like full. Contact a librarian to

LIBRARIES ANYWHERE: Check with you local library for resources finding sources for support groups, finding social clubs, finding meet-ups, and other ways to become social. Even in COVID-19 times, social-ness is a necessary part of life. Keep looking…do not accept that you must be alone.

Ontario Caregiver Organization: The Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO) exists to support Ontario’s 3.3 million caregivers; ordinary people who provide physical and/or emotional support to a family member, partner, friend or neighbour.

The OCO will enhance the caregiving experience by providing one point of access to information, services and supports that empower and enable caregivers to be successful in their role. Where gaps exist in caregiver programs and services, the OCO partners with caregivers, health care providers and other organizations to find new and innovative ways to bridge those gaps so all caregivers, regardless of age, disease or geographical location have access to the help they need.

If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, please call 911

To access information about caregiver services and supports in your area, please call the Ontario Caregiver Helpline: 1-833-416-2273.

If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, there are organizations that can help. Please call Connex Ontario at 1-866-531-2600.

Established in 2018, the OCO is a not-for-profit entity funded by the Government of Ontario.

The ALZHEIMER SOCIETY has offices across Canada. Make contact to determine what social-support events might be timely or appropriate for your needs. They will refer you to the most convenient office near you. Or search online under Alzheimer Society of your area.

  1. Alzheimer Society – Toronto – Upcoming Events List
    Local: 416-322-6560
  2. Alzheimer Society – Alberta and Northwest Territories – News & events
    Toll-free: 1-866-950-5465
  3. Alzheimer Society – British Columbia – News & events
    Toll-free: 1-800-667-3742
  4. Alzheimer Society – Manitoba – Upcoming Events
    Toll-free: 1-800-378-6699
  5. Alzheimer Society – New Brunswick – News & events
    Toll-free: 1-800-664-8411
  6. Alzheimer Society – Newfoundland Labrador – New & events
    Toll-free: (877) 776-0608
  7. Alzheimer Society – Nova Scotia – News & events
    Toll-free: (within NS) 1-800-611-6345
  8. Alzheimer Society – Ontario – News & events
    Toll-free:  1-800-879-4226 (valid only in Canada)
  9. Alzheimer Society – Prince Edward Island – News & events
    Tel: 902-628-2257
  10. Alzheimer Society – Federation of Quebec – News & events
    Free: 1-888-636-6473
  11. Alzheimer Society – Saskatchewan News & Events
    Toll-free: 1-800-263-3367 (valid in Saskatchewan only)

ACCLAIM HEALTH Strong social connections are one of the top factors in healthy aging.” Acclaim Health includes the following social supports:

  • Friendly visiting
  • Tele-Touch
  • Memory Visiting
  • Wellness Support
  • Art in the House
  • Social Events.

Complete their online referral or phone 905-827-8800 or 1-800-387-7127

For caregivers outside of Canada, look online for the Alzheimer’s organization near your area and phone or email to see what events might be helpful for your social-support needs.

~ jas

Caregiver Social-Support (c) 2020 Judith Allen Shome