The Family Caregivers' Network Society (FCNS) was established in 1989 to provide information, education and support for caregivers of adult family members or friends in the Capital Regional District. The care recipients live either in their own homes with the caregiver or in a care facility, and may be elderly, frail, disabled or chronically ill. Many of the staff and volunteers involved with FCNS are current or past caregivers.
FCNS provides many services and products to help family caregivers deal more effectively with the many day-to-day responsibilities. Below are several of these services and products:
- Family caregiver support groups in James Bay and Sidney, on Salt Spring Island and in the Hillside area. These are offered both during the day and evening on a drop-in basis and are run by trained volunteer facilitators.
- Telephone support, information and referral to community resources and help in navigating the health care system.
- Educational workshops on various topics of interest to family caregivers, such as self-care, resiliency, caregiving after facility placement, reducing guilt and changing family roles.
- Resource library of videos, books and handouts of value to family caregivers.
- Bi-monthly newsletter, The Network News, which contains information about events, support groups, a legal column, a health care system column, resource library information and other articles and information of importance to family caregivers. The newsletter is delivered by regular mail or e-mail.
- A Resource Guide for Family Caregivers, 2nd edition. This 160-page guide is presented in an easy-to-read format and contains practical information to help caregivers make informed decisions. FCNS members can purchase it for $15 or $20 for non-members.
- Caregiver Wellness Booklet: a free personal wellness journal focusing on self-care and creating balance in an otherwise busy life.
- Medical Information Package (MIP) consisting of important forms for recording health-related information for the care recipient. This is all contained in a magnetic pouch that can be attached to a fridge and a decal that can be stuck on the front door indicating where the MIP can be found. Free to FCNS members and $3 for non-members.
- Volunteer Ambassador Program: knowledgeable volunteers with family caregiving experience are available to present to community groups and organizations on the products and services offered by FCNS.
- "Lunch and Learn" for employees of organizations and businesses to increase awareness of the resources available in the community to support family caregivers who are trying to balance the demands of employment with the demands of being a family caregiver.
To receive more information about these products and services, please drop by the FCNS office in James Bay at 526 Michigan Street, call 250-384-0408 or visit online at www.fcns-caregiving.org
Next issue: Dealing with the many emotions related to caregiving.
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