Caregivers Alberta was founded in 2001 by a group of caregivers who recognized that while there were supports for caregivers, they focused on the care recipient rather than the needs of the caregiver. For instance, support groups and education programs were available to discuss the progression of their loved ones illness or what to do if your care recipient fell. The founders identified a need for supports focused specifically on the needs of caregivers.
In order to understand the scope and impact of caregiving, Caregivers Alberta conducted a series of focus groups in 2003. This research was summarized in the “Shining a Light” report, and determined that family caregiver’s contributions were largely invisible to society and that caregivers often suffer in silence. The research also identified strategies to better meet the needs of caregivers. These strategies have shaped the direction, programs and initiatives of Caregivers Alberta.
A second province-wide study in 2010 concluded with very similar recommendations.
A grant from the Alberta Ministry of Health from 2013-2017 enabled Caregivers Alberta to spread COMPASS & Navigator training across the province. 195 COMPASS facilitators and over 200 healthcare professionals were trained during that time period.
Since the end of the grant Caregivers Alberta has continued to train COMPASS facilitators across Alberta, and we are proud to now have close to 300 facilitators province-wide.