Volume 18 | APRIL 2021
National Volunteer Appreciation Week 2021:
Thank you for all that you do!
“I have been a proud Peer Mentor member with OCO for 2 months now, and this experience has been tremendously positive. I believe volunteering is something that is personal and can offer value that extends beyond the scope of the position itself.” – OCO Volunteer

Caregiver partners play a critical role in the development of OCO programs and services. From participating in OCO’s advisory panel, to sharing insights on program development working groups, our volunteer partners are always willing to share their insights to help improve the experience for caregivers across the province.

To date, caregiver partners have made the following groups, programs, and services available:

  • The 1:1 Peer Support Program – launched in June 2020, OCO has trained 45 volunteer Peer Mentors who have made over 400 calls to support caregivers
  • YoungCaregiversConnect.ca website launch – a website co-created with a working group of young caregivers to help young caregivers
  • Mental Health Working Group – volunteers shared insights to improve The SCALE Program, and co-create future mental health & addictions supports including an eLearning module and new resources
  • Learning Collaborative – caregivers share their experience and insight in a monthly Learning Collaborative for early adopter organizations implementing a Partners in Care and Caregiver ID approach in hospital and long-term care settings
  • Ontario Health Team (OHT) Webinar – Caregiver Advisors shared their expertise and experience about how OHT can best partner and work with caregiver/patient partners in a webinar offered to over 150 attendees. Caregiver advisors co-developed two interactive sessions for over 100 registrants, designed to support caregivers in their involvement in OHT,
  • Caregiver Advisory Group – volunteers made recommendations to inform resource development and provide perspectives to influence decision making with stakeholders and partners
  • Experienced Caregivers Working Group – volunteers shared insights on helpline enhancements and discussed supports for experienced/seasoned caregivers
  • Focus Groups – volunteers participated in one-time engagement opportunities to inform program development around working caregivers, the helpline, and caregiver education
  • Website – caregiver partners helped to build OCO’s website and provide ongoing feedback
  • Kindness Campaign – launched the first Kindness Campaign in partnership with a caregiver
  • OCO’s volunteer Board of Directors contribute their expertise to oversee the direction and governance of the organization

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer with OCO, contact us directly or click the link below to get involved!
Money On Your Mind? It's Time to Talk!
Don’t have time to join a webinar or support group? Try our new podcast, Time to Talk. Join our host Michelle Jobin along with experts and caregivers, to discuss things that matter most to caregivers. Talking about sleep, nutrition, relationships and managing money... whether you’re new to caregiving, or an experienced caregiver, this podcast has something for you.

In this episode, our host Michelle Jobin is joined by Shannon Lee Simmons, a certified financial planner, chartered investment manager, and founder of the award-winning New School of Finance. The two dive deep into the importance of financial literacy, taking control of one’s finances, and tips for caregivers to save money. We also hear about a few of the free support services that The Ontario Caregiver Organization provides.
The SCALE Program Returns in May!
Designed with a busy schedule in mind, the SCALE Program (Supporting Caregiver Awareness, Learning and Empowerment) is a flexible program that can be tailored to each caregiver’s schedule.

The program consists of eight weekly webinars that are recorded and can be watched individually or as a series. It also includes optional online group coaching, or 1:1 counseling by telephone. The SCALE Program exists to empower caregivers with practical skills and enhance self-awareness to support the caregiver’s needs and well-being.
Upcoming Webinars
April 29: Promoting Health and Wellbeing through Age-Friendly Communities

Age-Friendly Communities (AFCs) optimize opportunities for health and wellbeing by ensuring their policies, planning processes, structures, and services are accessible to and inclusive of people of all ages and abilities. AFCs encourage us to look at how a community’s physical and social environment and health care intersect to impact our health and wellness. This webinar will discuss these characteristics of AFCs and how they can apply to caregivers and caregiving to enable healthy aging in the home and communities.

Our speaker, Dr. John Puxty, is an experienced Geriatrician, Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s University, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health. He has a primary interest in promoting healthy aging and wellness for older adults through his ongoing research in aging, age-friendly communities, memory disorders, and knowledge mobilization strategies.

*This presentation will be in English and available as a recording after the event.
May 20: Grief & Bereavement

An important principle concerning bereavement is that grief is a natural response to a significant loss. This webinar will walk participants through the grief journey and will present helpful tools to use during this time. We will also explore Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s Model of Grief Companioning to help participants find healthy and useful ways to grieve. The presentation will focus on how COVID-19 has created “complicated grief” and how participants can work through it. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve – just your way!

*This presentation will be in English and available as a recording after the event.
Past webinars
Missed a webinar?

If you weren’t able to attend our recent webinars, you can still watch them as a recording.
Make sure to register for the webinars you’re interested in to receive the link to the replay directly in your inbox.
Share on Social Media!
Did you like what you read? Share it on social media and help us reach more caregivers!
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