Friday, 18 May 2012

I Am Leading A New Workshop for Caregivers!


I am so pleased to announce that I will be working with a Canadian organization called The Advocacy School - My workshop is for families giving care to a loved one and here is a description from the website.
I hope you'll share with your friends and colleagues!  The plan is to have sponsoring organizations purchase the workshop so that families do not pay.

How to Know What You Want and Get What You Need: An Advocacy Workshop for Families Giving Care
This half-day, “live” workshop is aimed at “giving voice” to families dealing with the challenges of caregiving, providing them with practical ideas and tools with which to gain support in their efforts to care for family and loved ones.This workshop will begin by helping participants break down their needs and match them to potential sources of assistance in their community.  Mapping community assets and linking them to a personal, practical need will assist participants in beginning to learn the ‘how to’s’ of solutions-based advocacy. 
Participants will have the opportunity to share stories of success and failure in accessing help at home and to learn from each other. Participants will leave with a tool-kit of practical, best practice strategies and a personal action plan for pragmatic, successful advocacy in both community and government spheres.
Learning objectives for this highly interactive workshop are:
  • Provide participants with tools, strategies and plans to build a public/private support system consisting of government agencies, community resources and friends and family.
  • Provide participants with a template for breaking down and identifying household and care tasks, culminating in a personal checklist of help that is … helpful.
  • Provide participants with techniques for mapping community resources.
  • Demonstrate effective, solution-based advocacy techniques for working with government representatives, community leaders, friends and family.
  • Provide participants with templates for the development of an action plan to coordinate assistance and ensure effective communication amongst all care partners.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

I read this post a few days ago and was overcome with joy, as I thought of you. Moreover, I am in the process of applying for Direct Funding and began thinking, "Such workshops could also help those with monderate disabilities, like myself, take better care of themselves." For example, I would be able to go swimming again, take a trip, or do some advocacy work of my own. I may also be able to help you (something I really want to do)and The Advocacy School.

However, I do think that we have a problem, which no one is discussing, and the problem is twofold. First, many parents, of adults with disabilities, do not believe that they have any right to ask their government or community for assistance. Second, these parents, do not know how to use a computer and are without the benefits of social media, networking and support.

With this in mind, I must ask, "Could we not work together with hospitals on this project? For, they have a large registry, of adults with disabilities, who require far greater care.

We need to extend a hand and start changing minds.

Matt Kamaratakis

Donna Thomson said...

Hi Matt, Thank you for your reflections. I have been thinking about your idea of offering this workshop to adults with disabilities in coordinating their own care. I think you have something there and I'll see if I can develop a version of the workshop - thank you for that inspiration! Perhaps the adult Rehab Hospitals could offer this type of programme to their clients who could use a bit of assistance in directing their own care.

Anonymous said...

Donna,

I don't want rehab hospitals to create programmes of their own, but to be able to work with their communities, in order to pool resources and extend care. Moreover, I will forever be an advocate of inclusion. However, in terms of care or treatment, we also need to take a good, hard look at the differences between monderate and servere disability. Simply beginning a new programme, in and of itself, wouldn't help anyone and burden an already buckling healthcare system.

Hence, I was thinking that your workshop should operate in partnership with The Adocacy School and the hospital where you currently take Nicholas.

This would allow us to assess the needs of those with disabilities, while learning about existing services, and find equitable solutions for the future.

Matt Kamaratakis

Anonymous said...

Donna,

Could PLAN educate parents about Blogger, as well as, teach them some basic computer skills? Also, I'm not wrong about this. For, you write a informative blog, but there are virtually no comments. In order to build a grassroots movement, we need to empower everyone.

love
matt

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

I thought that I would add some perspective regarding rehab facilities for adults with disabilities. For example, there are three main hospitals in Toronto which claim to cater to disability: Bridge point, West Park, and Toronto Rehab. Nonetheless, these institutions focus on amputee, stroke and spinal cord injuries. Most of the staff in these hospitals, including doctors and nurses, have never seen or treated a patient with a disability from birth (also known as "childhood disability").

However, there is one exception with regards to Toronto Rehab. For instance, Toronto Rehab runs the "LIFEspan clinic" in partnership with Holland Bloorview. The clinic was designed to adress the needs of those with cerebral palsy, and acquired brain injuries, transitioning into adulthood. Since the clinic's conception in 2006, it has begun to also open its doors to those with spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

There are, nevertheless, two shortfalls to this service. First, patients are discharged from the LIFEspan clinic at twenty-two years of age, with little or no recourse to further treatment. Second, they do not provide care for those with cognitive disabilities.

Moreover, if someone with a disability was to be referred to any of the hospitals above for continued physiotherapy, in an attempt to maintain health, they will be given an aassessment, but no means to permanent treatment.

Hence, those like Nicholas will experience a higher mortality rate, and I, greater paralysis.

Matt Kamaratakis