On March 29, 2023 Modern Caregiving Solutions (MCS)has released a new report titled "Unseen Realities: Experiences ofImmigrant and Ethnically Diverse Caregivers: Alberta Rapid NeedsAssessment." The report sheds light on the experiences of diverse caregivers, their families, and the organizations that support them in Alberta.
The report highlights the challenges faced by diverse caregivers when caring for their loved ones undergoing palliative and end-of-life care and other chronic illnesses such as dementia. It identifies critical areas for enhancing caregiver support for this underserved population.
“Throughout this process, we found that a significant number of participants were not aware of the palliative and end-of-life care services available to them, and in some cases, they were not offered these services. However, we discovered that many of them were providing support to family members and loved ones with life-limiting illnesses. As we listened to the stories of caregivers from diverse backgrounds, we realized that these untold stories must be heard and understood to provide meaningful support for those silently navigating such a difficult time," explained Isaack Adam, CEO of MCS.
The report identifies six key recommendations that can enhance access to palliative and end-of-life care for diverse communities and the required supports to caregivers in Alberta, including:
1. Ensuring secure access to system navigation
2. Targeting and tailoring caregiving supports
3. Strengthening language support
4. Improving education and awareness
5. Developing a one-stop-shop for caregivers
6. Fostering engagement and partnerships.
"Caregivers are often invisible members of our society performing a vital role, and those of colour are even more so. Our report brings their personal experiences to light and underscores the importance of better supporting them and creating a unified approach that meets the needs of culturally and ethnically diverse caregivers and their families in Alberta," said Eunice Houghton, one of the leads conducting the needs assessment.
The report is an essential step towards understanding the complex challenges that diverse caregivers face in our province and the next steps needed in providing them with the respect, resources, and support they need. MCS is committed to working with individuals, families, organizations, and governments to improve caregiving practices for culturally and ethnically diverse communities across Alberta. The Government ofAlberta provided MCS with a project grant to conduct the study and final report as part of its $20 million commitment to advance palliative and end-of-life care initiatives in four priority areas that include earlier access to care, community supports and services, education and training, and research and innovation.
In addition to the report, MCS has developed MyHuddle, an innovative caregiving app that helps families coordinate care for their loved ones with life-limiting illness. MCS aims to provide caregivers in diverse communities with the tools and resources they need to better navigate the healthcare system and receive the support they require. By leveraging technology and building partnerships, MCS is working towards providing meaningful support to culturally and ethnically diverse caregivers and their families across Alberta.
MCS aims to implement a palliative and end-of-life awareness campaign over the next year using its Diversity Anywhereã framework, which builds on its engagement efforts in 2022.