Caregiving, fundraising

Dick’s Story

dick

As a caregiver, Dick Strayer knew what it was like to feel alone and not know where to turn. He is a founder of the Saskatoon Council on Aging’s [SCOA] Caregiver Support and Information Centre, a program that provides support for seniors who are caregivers. Through his work with the program, he spoke with hundreds of caregivers in Saskatoon and area.

“One of the best medicines is for caregivers to talk to other caregivers. Caregivers experience feelings of loneliness and it is great to find out that you are not alone, that there is someone there to help and where you can get advice.”

I’m a firm believer in the cause and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization. They deserve all the support that I can give them.”  ~ Dick Strayer

Dick’s vision for the future would be a provincial Caregiver program, training for caregivers and for people to know more about SCOA’s work.

“I devoted a lot of time to something that I truly believe in. It’s had an effect on my life no question.”

Dick gives to SCOA because “I’m a firm believer in the cause and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization. They deserve all the support that I can give them.”

“SCOA and Caregiver are at the top of my list always.”  ~ Dick Strayer

You can help us build a better future for older adults and caregivers – Donate now!

How to donate:
1. By Phone: 306.652.2255
2. in person at our office in the Saskatoon Field House, 2020 College Drive
3. Online at CanadaHelps 

Dick’s caregiving story

Caregiving, Health Services, Partners, Technology

Virtual Reality – A real option for pain management

by Susan Tupper, PT, PhD, Strategy Consultant, Pain Quality Improvement, Saskatchewan Health Authority

The idea of being transported to another reality, where you can see, hear, and touch a virtual world as if it were real has been the topic of science fiction since the short story Pygmalion’s Spectacles was penned by Stanley Weinbaum in 1935. Since the mid-1960s, the technology of interactive videos has grown to include flight simulators, video games, exposure treatment for phobias, medical education, and pain management. You may be wondering how virtual reality can affect pain. What can a video do to change arthritis or a disc bulge? The answer to that question lies in knowing how pain works.

Most people think that pain and tissue damage, such as arthritis, are perfectly intertwined. More tissue damage will lead to more pain and vice versa. Fortunately, it’s not that simple. Information about danger or damage to our tissues travels along specialized nerves to the spinal cord and eventually to approximately 20 different areas of the brain that work together to create the experience of pain. We’ve learned a lot about pain over the past 40 years and now know that the signals coming from the tissues are modified at the spinal cord and brain to either increase the signal or completely block it. This is very useful to help us respond appropriately to our environment. For example, if you’re running down the road and sprain your ankle, it’s important to be able to feel pain so you can take care of your ankle until it feels better. However, if there’s a truck speeding toward you, it’s more important to NOT feel pain and get off the road. Once you’re safely out of harm’s way, the ankle pain will slowly appear. Though the tissue signals play a role, the brain determines whether or not we feel pain. The good news is that we can manipulate the brain to change pain. This is where virtual reality comes in.

Our research team is exploring how virtual reality can be used to help people with dementia manage pain. We also want to use virtual reality to train family care providers to recognize pain and better manage pain in themselves and their loved ones.

We are currently recruiting family caregivers for 30-60 minute interviews. We are particularly interested in hearing from male caregivers, those living in rural communities, or those of non-European heritage. The interview can be held on the phone or in a location that’s convenient to you. For more information on how to participate, please contact Dr. Susan Tupper (study lead investigator) at susan.tupper@saskhealthauthority.ca or 306-655-1041, or Kirstie Gibson (research assistant) at kig579@mail.usask.ca or 306-202-6330.

Our team includes researchers from the Saskatchewan Health Authority, University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing, St. Thomas More College Department of Psychology, and Luxsonic Technologies Inc.. We received funding from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and the Center for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) and the Eunice Bilokreli Research Fund  through the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine to support this work. We appreciate the support that SCOA and the Alzheimer’s Society of Saskatchewan have provided as study collaborators.

age-friendly, Caregiving, Events, Health Services

Caregiver Week 2019

Caregiver Week March 17-23, 2019


Caregiver Logo 2011Care for the Caregiver Forum – Friday, March 22, 2019

  • Caregiver App Launch: Lorraine Holtslander and Shelley Peacock (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Caregiver Self-Care presentation : Jeanne Beaudoin (Saskatchewan Health Authority)
  • “The Vulnerability of Caregiving”: Facilitated group discussions

Circle Drive Alliance Church – 3035 Preston Ave. S.
10:00 am – 3:00 pm (Registration 9:30 am)
Music by: Harpist Heidi Derksen, Cellist Jillian Gushulak
Cost: $20 (Lunch included – must pay in advance)
To register call SCOA at 306-652-2255

Our thanks to Saskatoon Community Foundation


Caregiver Workshop – Monday, March 18, 2019

Cliff Wright Library presentation “Services for Caregivers”
Parkinson Canada presentation “Information for Caregivers”
Cliff Wright Library – 1635 McKercher Dr.
1pm-3pm
Cost: FREE
To register call 306-652-2255

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age-friendly, Caregiving, Classes, Fitness and dance, Lifelong Learning, Programming

Learning Opportunities for Seniors

COMMUNITY LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SENIORS

Saskatchewan Seniors Continued Learning

“Saskatoon Seniors Continued Learning (SSCL), in collaboration with the College of Arts & Science, offers non-degree courses to people aged 55 and better. These popular courses deal with a wide range of literary, political, scientific, religious and artistic subjects.” More information


Fit Over 50: A Guide To Physical Activity For People 50+


University of Saskatchewan Ballroom Dancing Club – Fall 2018 Classes 

Online Registration 


Caring for Older Adults – Online Course

If you are new to the Caregiver role for a family member or struggling to adapt to the role, this course is for you. The course is designed to provide you with valuable information that can help you adapt to the role, develop your confidence and assist your family member with various challenges. You will also receive advice on searching out information and resources that are relevant to your own situation.
March 25, 2019 to May 17, 2019
Tuition: $125 + GST
Register at saskpolytech.ca. For more information contact Faye Lendrum 306-775-7397

Caregiving, Classes, Events

Caregiver “Stress Relieving” Workshop

 

canstockphoto8602756.jpg1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2018

Caregivers Guide to Stress Reduction: Practical Tools and Resources 

In this session we will be discussing the impact stress has on our psychological well-being and some ways we can decrease our daily stress.  The goal will be to provide everyday tools, activities, resources and options for caregivers to utilize on a day to day basis, in order to continue supporting their loved ones to the best of their abilities. 

Chalaine Senger, Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Canadian Mental Health Association 

Forever…in motion stress relieving exercises, with take-home exercise sheets, followed by group discussions.

$10 Registration Fee (snacks and coffee provided)

To register call SCOA at 306-652-2255.

Annual General Meeting, Caregiving, Events, Health Services

Executive Director’s Report – May 2018

Did you know – SCOA’s Positive Aging Resource Centre and Caregiver Information and Support Centre are unique to Saskatchewan?

One in five Canadians are caregivers and they are an essential link in the health care chain, though often forgotten. Many caregivers are sandwiched between employment and caregiving duties which creates extreme stress. If stress continues, caregiver burnout often results. Inability to find information and support is the cause of much caregiver frustration.

Our Centre provides information and support for older adults and caregivers in Saskatoon and for other provinces. This past year SCOA had over 22,902 visitors and requests for services at our Positive Aging Resource Centre in Saskatoon!

Caregivers enjoyed recent workshops provided by SCOA.  Some comments:
“it’s great to realize that I don’t have to be perfect; all so good, such a variety, thank you; I learned about taking time for me; it’s great to share tips from other caregivers; this information is exactly what we need to be a caregiver with less guilt; really important to be able to discuss in small groups – sharing time; liked the practical tools of self care and the phrase “things have changed and I have changed.”

We are grateful for the support of the Royal University Hospital Foundation Community Mental Health Endowment Grant program and for the opportunity to provide workshops to the many caregivers throughout the city. The most significant success of providing caregiver workshops is that they reduce isolation and facilitate the opportunity for learning, and social networking. This means less isolation, better connections to resources and tools, and the opportunity to share their experiences with other caregivers.

age-friendly, aging in place, Caregiving, Health Services, Partners

Using Technology to Support the Role of Family Caregivers to Older Adults

Using Technology to Support the Role of Family Caregivers
to Older Adults

In partnership with SCOA, Drs. Lorraine Holtslander and Shelley Peacock have received SHRF funding for their project, which combines technology and caregiving. 

Family caregivers are the backbone of the health care system, providing an immense amount of unpaid care, often with very little support from others. A team of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, with backgrounds in nursing and psychology are working with the Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) and a local technology company, Refresh Enterprises, to develop and test an app that they hope will improve and support the caregiver experience. 

College of Nursing co-principal applicants Drs. Lorraine Holtslander and Shelley Peacock, alongside co-applicants Drs. Kristen Haase (College of Nursing) and Megan O’Connell (College of Arts & Science), have received Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Collaborative Innovation Development funding for this project. They plan to build a community of caregivers where individuals can obtain support, gather information, and find relief through an innovative internet-based smart phone tool.

There will be eight focus group sessions, at the Saskatoon Field House, where they will interview a number of family caregivers to collect data on the type of support the caregivers would like to have available through the app. This project has great potential to impact the health of Saskatchewan residents, as most older adults would like to remain in their own homes, supported by their families and they are looking for creative, online solutions, information and support on how to do so.

For more information, contact Sheila Angelstad, Volunteer/Program Coordinator.
306-652-4411