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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.

How can exercise help with stress and caring for patients?

Caregivers might wonder how getting exercise can help with stress and care for patients. Well, caregivers are among a group of individuals who commonly neglect themselves. They are under lots of pressure to help out patients, and their health can go to the wayside.

Being Overweight

First and foremost, being overweight can impact a person’s health. When looking for standards, most General Practitioners still look to the Body Mass Index (BMI) charts to establish the baseline. The numbers for this stipulate that a BMI that is between 18.5 to 25.0 is in the normal range. The healthy range is where every individual, regardless of age, strive to stay. This, of course, can be accomplished through weight loss plans that include the two most important elements of healthy diet and exercise.

One of the best weight loss programs is one created by Steve Holman, The Old School New Body Plan. The plan showcases a healthy way to exercise without spending hours and hours at the gym. The program also has an excellent guide to eating healthy.

People might not believe that being overweight is a problem when doing something good in the world. But this category increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. This is the last thing that a caregiver needs to worry about when they are caring for their patients.


One thing that people don’t realize about exercise is that doing it consistently will decrease a person’s appetite. The body will reach a homeostasis where the person is not craving carbs to get that serotonin and dopamine boost. The exercise will provide these neurotransmitters in the brain instead, and the release of these will last even longer for a person than a sugar fix does. Individuals who are habitually working out will have less depression or stress related cravings for food. It will simply be because they are more immune to those lows that they had before without exercise.

Another thing that exercise does is to help regulate a person’s sleep cycle. People should not work out a couple of hours before going to bed because the exercise will energize them. It does so by releasing nor adrenaline, a commonly targeted neuro chemical in many stimulants and wakefulness inducing anti depressants such as Wellbutrin and Effexor. So people who exercise early in the morning will have these chemicals activated to keep them alert while caring for their patients. Even those who work out before a shift will find that they do not feel sleepy when they are supposed to be working.

Keeping fit for the Patient

keeping fit

So if one wonders “how can exercise help with stress and care for patients?” Then the person just needs to look at the insurmountable evidence weighing in favor of an exercise plan (no pun intended). Unhealthy people do not make the best caregivers because of the imminent danger that they will soon be needing medical care.