Monthly Archives: October 2017

Health Programs for the Ill in Alberta, Canada

It can be difficult to navigate the resources that are available for sick people in Alberta. Thankfully, Alberta Health Services has a strong background in providing support to those in medical need. There are some great programs that caregivers can check out for their patients and loved ones who are in need of support due to illness. This list is not comprehensive, but the following does cover many of the programs available:

Early Psychosis Clinic

Depending on the area of Alberta, the contact details for each group are a little bit different. However, Alberta has been on the forefront of providing this collection of social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists to patients after they have a psychotic episode before the age of 30.

When a caregiver is helping someone who has had a psychosis, the person should be aware that this individual’s life is upside down. The doctors are still trying to find the cause of this psychosis, even after inpatient hospitalization. The person will be unable to care for themselves until the patient is on the right balance of medication. This can take years of support, so young people need help for a variety of professionals to get back on track.

Geriatric Nurses

This specialized branch of nursing helps seniors in the later stages of their life. These nurses can be called up at the hospital and mobilized to go into older adults’ homes. They will help the caregiver with making the home safe for the new needs of the senior, which can be mobility issues or cognitive decline. They will also advise regarding when it is time to transition the older adult into a nursing home. Sometimes a senior will have Alzheimer’s or a serious illness that needs constant monitoring. If the caregiver cannot provide this, then these nurses will help find more viable long term solutions.

Alberta Hospital

Alberta Hospital is a full-service psychiatric hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. There are so many other great psych units in Alberta, but Alberta Hospital is unique in that it only deals with psychiatric patients. If a person who is ill starts exhibiting symptoms of mental illness, then their caregiver might need to work in conjunction with a doctor to get a referral to Alberta Hospital. This hospital is also a perfect place to call up and ask for resources regarding mental health in one’s community. As an alternative, any ER is a place to take a patient who needs help immediately. The hospitals can and will accommodate the mentally ill in their treatment.

Alberta Healthy Living Program

Even healthy people can attend these classes, so it is something that caregivers and ill patients can participate in together. These classes also help to accommodate several language groups, so those caring for immigrants might find that these services can help their patients.

The educational groups offer a variety of topics. They are free six-week workshops. There are exercise groups that a person can attend. Also, free nutritional counseling appointments can be scheduled.

What are services available for caregivers in Canada?

Caregivers need to have supports too. They may wonder- “what are services available for caregivers in Canada?”. Caregivers may not have time to research options. Many support options are depending on the person’s needs.

Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits

Sometimes caregivers are put in the situation when a family member becomes gravely ill. In Canada, if a person needs to take time off of work to become a caregiver, there are employment insurance compassionate care benefits. The benefits can cover a person for up to six months. Also, there are employment insurance special benefits for parents of critically ill children for those parents that need to care for a gravely ill child. These can last for up to 35 weeks. The government of Canada offers theseĀ  benefits, so visit their website for more information.

Child Disability Benefit

The Child Disability Benefit is for parents who are caregivers for their children who are under 18. The government of Canada helps these families when the child has been certified to have a severe and prolonged disability by a medical professional.



Employer’s Health Care Plan

Also, for caregivers that are worried about their health benefits, their employer’s health care plan may cover them. This benefit depends on a person’s relationship with the company. Sometimes these jobs can also provide the advantage of giving the caregiver flexibility regarding when they come to work. This flexibility can allow the caregiver to go to the doctor at times that are mutually convenient. The employer might also offer Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This program helps the person to overcome their issues that might impede their performance at work.

The patient might have worked at a place previously that can provide them with a pension or other benefits. These funds can then be used by the patient to help them to support items that make it easier to care for the caregiver, or just give a basic salary. When the patient is not stressed out by financial issues, this will make the caregiver’s job a lot easier.

Canadian Caregivers Services Inc.

If the caregiver wants to go through an agency for greater benefits and support, the Canadian Caregivers Services Inc. can help to connect caregivers with new opportunities at home and overseas. Their website also provides a lot of information for caregivers as well as for families. It can often help caregivers to be a part of one of these organizations so that they know their rights as a caregiver. This group links to a larger network, the Association of Caregiver & Nanny Agencies in Canada.

Aging Parents Canada


Aging Parents Canada is a comprehensive website that helps caregivers to navigate the murky waters of caring for aging parents. The URL is



In Summary

Caregivers can feel like they are alone in the world and shut out from benefits that other Canadian workers have. There are many changes at the governmental level that give caregivers unique advantages. It is important for caregivers to know of these services and benefit from what they have to offer.