Caregiver Check-In during COVID-19

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ROLES: Digital Health Specialist, Creative Lead, Video Producer

A clinical interactive web series bringing together family caregivers of someone with dementia across Ontario for a therapeutic education event led by Dr. Joel Sadavoy, MD, founder of Geriatric Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Director at The Reitman Centre/ Enhancing Care Program at Sinai Health. Discussing the challenges caregivers are facing in the COVID-19 pandemic and resources and solutions available to them. Delivered via a PHIPA compliant Zoom meeting interface.

Promotional card used on social media for the Caregiver Check-in in COVID-19 series with Dr. Joel Sadavoy, MD

What’s the problem? What’s the answer?

Should I use a video communications tool like Facetime or Zoom or the phone when I’m trying to connect with my family member with dementia from a distance, in the midst of contact restrictions imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic? This was one of the most resonant and emotionally charged questions raised by family caregivers and discussed with Dr. Sadavoy and other caregivers in attendance at our 2nd Caregiver Check-In event, held on May 14, 2020.

Working with the Medical Lead

Dr. Joel Sadavoy reflects that while caregivers don’t call themselves heroes, their vital dedication to caring for their family or friends with dementia, is the fabric of who they are. As essential as family caregivers are to the reality of ‘care at home’, their need for care themselves, is equally as vital. 

Dr. Joel Sadavoy - Medical Director of the Reitman Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital

Dr. Joel Sadavoy MD, is the founder of Geriatric Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Health, the medical director of the Enhancing Care Program for Ontario Dementia Care Parnters, and a leader and innovator in the “care of the caregiver” model. He founded the Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training and the ground breaking flagship CARERS program, a unique skills training and therapeutic support program for family caregivers of a person living with dementia. Founded over 10 years ago, this unique evidence-based program offers caregivers unique individualized support and training through the use of patient simulation and expert coaching methods. 

This crisis of home care and unpaid family caregiver support, without which our healthcare system would collapse,  has only become increasingly more noted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as the massive cracks in the models of institutional care for the senior population have become more publicly visible and public policy and the awareness of the need for improved models of homecare and long-term care  have surfaced across our province, our nation and in fact, world-wide.