Mission

Caregivers provide invaluable support to millions of Canadians in the forms of emotional, physical, financial, social and practical support. However, after the person they are caring for dies, caregivers continue to be impacted by their role and experiences.

The post-caregiving phase brings its own set of stressors, including coming to terms with ongoing losses, adapting to a new reality, and re-building one’s life and identity. Caregivers may need additional support as they face the challenges of grief and bereavement.

Currently, there is very little available to support bereaved caregivers within communities and health care settings such as home care, palliative care and long-term care. Constraints including staffing shortages, high staff turnover, limited professional resources, a lack of professional development opportunities, and feeling ill equipped to effectively engage caregivers in the post-caregiving phase significantly affects the delivery of bereavement support for caregivers (Pevenage & Reiss, 2020).

Moreover, the influence of ageist attitudes and a death-denying society impact the place allocated to grief recognition and access to support services.

Caregiver Grief Connexion aims to expand the continuum of care beyond the caregiving phase and to fill the gap in knowledge and skills to better support bereaved caregivers during this challenging time. Caregiver Grief Connexion is supported by the Canadian Centre for Caregiver Excellence

– powered by the Azrieli Foundation.

Photo of Pam Orzeck & Zelda Freitas presenting Caregiver Grief Connexion at the Canadian Caregiving Summit in Ottawa on November 6th, 2023, taken by Byfield-Pitman.

Mission

Caregiver Grief Connexion’s mission is to share knowledge, skills, and resources on grief for bereaved caregivers, and for the families, friends, and healthcare workers who support them.

Who we serve

Health and social service professionals, care providers, caregivers, families, and friends supporting caregivers in post-caregiving.

What is a caregiver?

Caregivers provide support to people with physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, medical conditions, mental illness, or needs related to aging. Caregivers are family, friends and other natural supports (like neighbours or chosen family) who provide care because of a relationship, not as a job or career. The caregiver role is mutually determined by the person and their caregiver(s). – Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence

The term bereaved caregivers refers to caregivers who are grieving the death of the person that they were taking care of.

What is a health & social service professional and a care provider?

All health and social service professionals and care providers are trained and paid to provide health and social service related interventions and support.
Examples of health and social service professionals and care providers who may interact with bereaved caregivers include personal support workers, respite workers, doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and many more.

Powerpoint presentation of Caregiver Grief Connexion at the Canadian Caregiving Summit in Ottawa on November 6th, 2023, presented by Pam Orzeck & Zelda Freitas

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