Home Caregiver Support Program

Categories: Care, Featured, Highlight, and Must Read.

St. John Ambulance, in association with the Order of St. Lazarus, is pleased to introduce an online version of the Home Caregiver Support Program (HCSP), begun in 2013, that is now available nationally.  The program is designed to provide much needed information and assistance to non-professional caregivers who are providing care for family members or friends suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses. Caregivers can include other family members, partners, parents, children, and close friends.  Patients are welcome to do the program as well.

The Home Caregiver Support Program is not meant to replace any existing programs of information and support to caregivers but intended to be an additional resource for hospice workers and caregivers.

The HCSP online course is designed for caregivers to do on their own time in the comfort of their own homes.  An introductory module provides an overview of the program and what is covered in the other modules.  In keeping with hospice palliative care philosophy, the program addresses the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues faced by caregivers while looking after their loved ones at home. Topics include home care, symptom management, dealing with emotions and stress management experienced by caregivers. Other modules provide information on supports in the community, advance care planning and how to encourage inner spiritual strength. Each module can be completed in about one hour.  Caregivers can do any or all modules as their needs dictate and return to the website at any time.  An additional in person practical session may be available in selected communities in Ontario (please contact St. John Ambulance, Ontario Council).  After completing the online course, the practical session offers time for activities, discussion of local resources, peer-mentoring, and the opportunity to ask questions.

The program is based on A Caregiver’s Guide – A Handbook About End-Of-Life Care, published by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and The Order of Saint Lazarus who has provided funding for the development of the online version of the program. Program development and additional content was written by Dr. Robert Boyko, a Family Physician, Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto, Provincial Medical Advisor for St. John Ambulance Ontario and Hospitaller for the Order of St. Lazarus.

The HCSP is free for caregivers and patients and is accepting registration now online in both English:  click here (http://stlazarus.sjatraining.ca) and French:  cliquer içi (http://stlazarusfr.sjatraining.ca).  The program is compatible on all devices (computer/tablet/smart phone).  After requesting the course on the homepage and registering online, an access code will be sent to participants to log on to do the course.

Interested parties should contact Dr. Robert Boyko, Provincial Medical Advisor and Program Director for further information.

“Canadian caregivers are the invisible backbone of the healthcare system, providing $25 billion in unpaid care.” – Canadian Cancer Society. With this unique program St. John Ambulance in partnership with the Order of St. Lazarus, extends the training of Canadians to address the important end-of-life needs that are often forgotten.

Contact:               Dr. Robert Boyko, Program Director

142 Nahani Way, Mississauga, Ont. L4Z 3J1

Phone:                 (905) 568-0355

Email:                    rmboyko@rogers.com