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LivingHealthHospice completes first practical caregiver course

Hospice completes first practical caregiver course

First-Ever Practical Caregiver Training Facilitated by Home Hospice North Lanark Wraps Up

A quarter of Canadians over the age of 65 are caregivers, a StatsCan survey reveals.1

The average number of hours per week that Canadians expect to be for caring for a dying family member is 54.42.

Home Hospice North Lanark (HHNL) is committed to offering the support that people need, such as the first-ever Practical Caregiver Training course that ran from October 15 to November 12. The course was developed for up to 15 unpaid caregivers by Champlain Hospice Palliative Care and facilitated by HHNL. For two hours every Friday, 12 attendees gained valuable information at no cost. Due to an easing of COVID rules, we could gather in person at the Civitan Club in Almonte.

Day 1 covered the caregiver role, navigating the health care system, Advance Care Planning and how to determine who is on your care team, was facilitated by HHNL’s Past Chair, Nancy Deschenes, RN (retired) with help from Board Member Ruth Dubois, RN (retired).

Physiotherapist (retired), Katrina Ayling, taught participants how to safely turn people in bed, how to get people in and out of bed and how to get someone from a bed to a chair on Day 2.

Providing personal care, preserving dignity, how to prevent bed sores, maintaining sterile and clean conditions and proper hand washing were the topics covered by Board member Esther Houle, RN (retired) on Day 3.

On Day 4, Sidney Thomson, RN, who is a Program Coordinator with HHNL presented on DNRs (do-not-resuscitate order) — what are they, where to get them, how they work — as well as what to expect at end of life, and managing medications.

HHNL Board member Ruth Dubois spoke about how to take care of yourself, how to know when you are not okay and discussed ways to practice self-care and self-compassion on Day 5.

Chair Jan Watson, was in charge of running the projector, obtaining information brochures and researching many topics that were of interest and help to participants.

Twelve people who joined as strangers left as friends. We hope they found the information valuable, and that it will assist them in their efforts to care for those they love.

Plans are in the works to offer the course again in the early spring in both Carleton Place and Pakenham.


  1. CTV headline, Tuesday, November 24, 2020
  2. A quantitative online research survey of 2,976 Canadian adults. Harris, 2013, 18.




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