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Ontario to support McMaster continuing education program for caregivers of older adults

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Published: May 4, 2018

The McMaster Centre for Continuing Education (CCE), together with the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and Hamilton’s Thrive Group, has been awarded $99,940 by the Ministry of Seniors Affairs to support the ongoing improvement of education for caregivers of older adults.

There are approximately 3.3 million caregivers in Ontario, according to data from the Change Foundation. Among these caregivers, 75 per cent have never received training specific to the person they are caring for; 63 per cent have had little to no assistance navigating Ontario’s health and community care system.

Funding from the Ministry will address these caregiver gaps through the development of an accessible and sustainable learning model (with online and in-person components) that aims to increase caregiver knowledge and skills in these areas: providing quality care for older adults; navigating online and in-person health and community services systems; managing self-care to alleviate the elevated stress levels experienced by many caregivers.

The project team will work with the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Council on Aging, Huntington University, Northern College and Canadore College to pilot their learning model in Hamilton, Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay.

“The opportunity to bring together McMaster educators and researchers as well as representatives from Ontario’s community health and social services sector to work on this initiative is an important step in responding to the educational needs of Ontario caregivers and our aging population,” said Lorraine Carter, Director of CCE.

The program’s success will be driven by the caregiver participants, who will indicate whether or not their learning leads to improved care; the efficacy and scalability of the model; and the impact of intergenerational interactions during the experience.

“MIRA is excited to partner with Thrive Group and the Centre for Continuing Education on this important project. We hope that caregivers of all ages will benefit from this learning program, which will be developed with the input of partners across the province,” said Laura Harrington, Managing Director of MIRA.

May
2018

Email MIRA at: MIRAinfo@mcmaster.ca       Follow us on Twitter : @MIRAMcMaster
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