Volume 29 | MAY 2022
May is Family Caregiver Month!
Family Caregiver Month is an opportunity to recognize a caregiver who is supporting someone with a physical or mental health condition. Since the start of the pandemic, more caregivers are experiencing stress, frustration, isolation, and loneliness.  They are worried about the financial impact of being a caregiver, how to manage a job and their caregiving responsibilities and the overall emotional toll that caregiving is having on their lives. Caregivers are feeling burnt out. 
This month, in partnership with caregiver organizations across the country, the OCO is promoting the many resources available to caregivers related to mental health, balancing work and caregiving responsibilities, partnering with care providers as part of the care team and the resources available to young caregivers. Follow us along on social to learn more. 
Mental Health Month
May is Mental Health month, an important time to highlight resources and validate caregiver challenges.

OCO has a range of supports for caregivers related to mental health and has compiled resources that address the unique needs of caregivers supporting someone with a mental health challenge.  
OCO resources and supports include webinars about caregiver well-being,
e-Learning and educational resources, as well as SCALE (Supporting Caregiver Awareness, Learning and Empowerment). These programs were strategically created to align with caregiver needs. To better understand caregivers, The Spotlight Report provides further insights on caregiver needs. The findings report 42% of caregivers feel their mental health is worse now than a year ago, 46% of caregivers experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, and 61% feel overwhelmed. This data also provides clarity on where the greatest challenges exist in the caregiving journey so OCO can continue to direct and refine its resources for caregivers.
We understand caregivers face unique challenges and issues when caring for someone with mental health needs and that caregiver mental health must always be prioritized. To view mental health supports and tools for caregivers visit our website. 
New: Caregiver Voices
The work of the OCO is inspired by caregivers and its resources and programs are all designed in collaboration with them. This month, the OCO is introducing a new online platform to support its caregiver advisory panel - Caregiver Voices. This new tool allows caregivers to share their lived experiences to help inform the work of the OCO.  

As members of the panel, caregivers are asked to provide input on different ideas, tools and programs, answer surveys on different aspects of the caregiving experience, and provide insights to guide the development of caregiver-focused services, webinars and more. 
Join the Caregiver Voices community. Your contribution can make a difference to the four million caregivers who need support. 
Rick Lauber
Meet Rick, a published author, established freelance writer and Caregiver. Rick is a caregiver to his mother diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Leukemia, and his father who has Alzheimer’s. Rick was given the responsibility of caring for both his parents with little warning and experience. While this was challenging, Rick says it was a time where he became more aligned with his family and himself. Here is what he has to say about his caregiving experience: 
“One of the most important lessons I learned was that caregiving becomes easier when the workload is shared. My additional helping hands included my sisters, Mom and Dad’s doctors, a senior’s transportation service, a day hospital program for Dad, and the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. I also learned that caregivers can also practice respite – or self-care. By doing something just for themselves, caregivers can rest, recharge, and greatly benefit.” 
Save The Date
June 8: OCO webinar in collaboration with March of Dimes Canada sharing information about their After Stroke program and how it supports caregivers.  
July 21: OCO webinar using journaling to practice wellness and healing. 
Missed a webinar?
We know caregivers are busy. That's why we record webinars so that you can watch them after the event, at a time that's convenient for you. 
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