seniors first bc

Seniors’ First BC, in coordination with the Family Caregivers of BC, adapted existing materials to create educational materials for family caregivers to identify and reduce elder abuse. A number of resources were developed and are available through Seniors First and other organizations.

Project Objectives:

  • Develop and implement education to reduce elder abuse through recognition and response for family caregivers of older adults in BC via webinars, teleseminars and in-person workshops.

Key Partners:

Activities:

  • Adapt existing materials for family caregivers (English, Chinese, South Asian and First Nations) – PowerPoint presentation, resource handouts, brochures and booklets. Adaptations in collaboration with SUCCESS, Alzheimer Society of BC, Progressive Intercultural Community Services and First Nations Health Authority.
  • Outreach activities (emails and media interviews).
  • Exhibits & events (Nursing Education Forum, Mental Wellness Forums, Burnaby Caregivers’ Expo).
  • 13 workshops conducted for family caregivers (in-person, teleseminar, webinar).

Outcomes:

  • A total of 100 family caregivers participated in workshops and teleseminars/webinars. The majority of the workshop participants expressed that they have an increased awareness of elder abuse, and feel empowered to respond effectively and protect older adults against elder abuse.

Tools and Resources:

Seniors First BC continues to offer this workshop to interested groups. Find program information, links to all resources and contact information for booking a workshop here: http://seniorsfirstbc.ca/resources/education-training-material/not-in-my-family/

Lessons Learned:

  • There were mixed reactions when addressing elder abuse during workshops. Some of the reactions included: shame, guilt, frustration, and helplessness. Facilitators had to clarify expectations and learning goals at the beginning of each workshop and discussion. Family caregivers found that essential resources to recognize and reduce elder abuse are either limited or difficult to obtain in their community.
  • By allocating sufficient time during workshops for participants to discuss, ask questions, and mutually exchange tips and resources for healthy caregiving, family caregivers may feel more empowered to deal with issues and concerns that arise; including responding effectively and protecting older adults against elder abuse.
  • Resource materials developed for family caregivers need to be made available in various formats (e.g. hard-copy, online), and also disseminated to other networks and organizations serving family caregivers, to facilitate ease of access to information and resources.
  • Essential resources for family caregivers are practical in nature; providing them with relief from stress and burnout, and strategies to deal with complex family problems.  Family caregivers shared that these resources are either very limited or difficult to access in their communities.
  • Family Caregivers participating in the events (from respondents who provided this information):
    • Majority were women and, of those, over 55% between 45 to 64 years of age
    • Over 55% married; over 50% work part-time or more hours
    • Over 45% have completed post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree
    • Over 50% care for their partner/spouse or aging parent/relative
    • 50% caregiving for one year or more, and live in the same city/town as the care recipient

Challenges:

  • Participants had mixed reactions to the issue of elder abuse.  Some wished only to engage in discussions about caregiving issues – e.g. practical strategies to avoid burnout, maintain social connections and improve communication.  To mitigate this challenge, workshop facilitators need to clarify expectations and learning goals with participants at the beginning of the workshop, and be knowledgeable about appropriate information and resources for family caregivers.
  • Resources on elder abuse awareness and response designed for family caregivers are limited and do not address ethnocultural differences. Consultation is needed to develop culturally-appropriate materials, and access to the materials needs to be enhanced.
  • Strong emphasis on need for practical resources to relieve family caregivers from stress, burnout, and complex family problems.  Facilitators need to be familiar with the availability of these resources (e.g., United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Resource Handbook 2016).
  • Participant turnout for workshops was lower than expected, perhaps due to family caregivers having limited time, concerns about confidentiality and the sensitive nature of the subject matter.  To address this, opportunities to provide teleseminar/webinar recordings to family caregivers to view on their own time are being explored.

For Sustainability:

  • Seniors First BC and Family Caregivers of British Columbia will incorporate project materials into core education workshops. Materials will be presented and shared with other organizations, such as the UBC Centre for Excellence and Indigenous Health.
  • Alzheimer Society of British Columbia, Seniors Come Share Society and UBC Digital Emergency Medicine – interCultural Online Health Network will post teleseminar/webinar recordings and other resources on their website. Materials will also be disseminated to staff, volunteers, and other networks.
  • Seniors First BC will disseminate learnings from the project to other organizations through direct sharing, workshops, and information on their website.
  • The workshop/resources may be presented to other target groups (e.g., home care support workers).