Every day, millions of Albertans face challenges associated with aging, illness, mental and emotional health, or disability. Yet our health care system and social services cannot do everything to support their needs. So, unpaid family and friends like you step in to fill the gaps. Unfortunately, in doing so, many caregivers become stressed, overwhelmed, and under-resourced.
Did you know that there are almost one million caregivers in Alberta? That is more than one in four Albertans – individuals of every age, gender, culture and background – currently caring for a loved one. These caregivers may have lots of financial resources or few. Caregiving may be as intensive as living with the person they’re caring for or as simple as driving their loved one to a doctor’s appointment or mowing the lawn. Anyone who supports someone with an illness or disability, or who is caring for an aging friend or family member is a caregiver. Alas, more than half of Alberta’s caregivers are exhausted, anxious and lonely, because like it or not, caregiving comes with significant physical, emotional and financial burdens. Too many caregivers feel like they cannot ask for help, or they don’t know where to turn.
That’s where Caregivers Alberta comes in.
Caregivers Alberta provides resources, support and education to help people caregiving for family members or friends. Our services are wide-ranging because so are the needs of caregivers: from our caregiver support line; to one-on-one coaching and peer support groups to our award-winning Caregiver education program, COMPASS. We serve caregivers and healthcare professionals all across Alberta. We are continually expanding our award-winning programs and supports, developing them in response to caregivers’ evolving needs. More than that: we’re also giving caregivers the tools and resources they need to be more confident, resilient and to ultimately enjoy the caregiving journey.
Caregivers Alberta also advocates for increased recognition for caregivers, including how they are perceived and valued in society. We champion and empower caregivers, and we influence policies in order to strengthen them. Caregivers should not suffer in silence, nor should their vital contributions be ignored. Caregivers Alberta not only empowers caregivers to carry out their journey with confidence – we also celebrate caregivers for the heroes and role models they are.
Caregivers Alberta was founded in 2001 by a grassroots group of caregivers dedicated to recognizing the essential work 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, which determined that family caregivers’ 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 our COMPASS and Navigator training across the province. Almost 200 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 nearly 300 facilitators province wide.
Our Mission & Vision
For too long, the essential contributions of caregivers have gone unnoticed and unrewarded. They’ve felt lonely, isolated, and unsure of what their futures hold.
To empower caregivers and promote their well-being.
An Alberta where caregivers are valued and supported.
As Alberta’s only dedicated caregiver organization, we offer wide-ranging services, from our caregiver support line, to one-on-one coaching and peer support groups to our award-winning Caregiver education program COMPASS. We serve caregivers and healthcare professionals all across Alberta.
There is already a large community of caregivers in Alberta – Caregivers Alberta connects and empowers them, building on their sense of pride and community to create a better, more sustainable future for everyone.
Caring for Caregivers
Many caregivers don’t think of themselves as caregivers – they’re simply taking care of people they care about. From complex needs to simple ones, Caregivers Alberta puts tools in caregivers’ toolbox, providing the support and resources to empower them.
No matter where caregivers are in their journey, Caregivers Alberta is there to support them. Whether just beginning their role or doing it for decades, Caregivers Alberta provides support and understanding to caregivers, and will connect them to their peers dealing with similar experiences.