Help and support for caregivers
With the initiative of Mr. Jacques Mercier, community worker from the CLSC Partage des Eaux, a series of meetings with Mrs. Manon Gaudet, social work technician for the CLSC, enables the birth of an organisation called : Groupe de support et d’information pour les aidants naturels.
The main objective of this support group is to put an end to caregivers’ isolation by offering them a place to exchange, be listened to, be supported and be informed, in order to prevent physical and emotional exhaustion.
Many themed coffee meetings are organised. Dozens of participants attend regularly.
Televised message project creation and implementation, in collaboration with the women’s center «Entre-Femmes», which accepted to be the patron of the project in order to obtain financing from the Regional health and social services agency.
The message was broadcasted during spring and fall 1998. Even though the organisation did not get any new members following the broadcasts, the population was made aware of caregivers’ living conditions.
Regular coffee meetings occurred, as well as several themed meetings with :
Brigitte Leboeuf, occupational therapist at CLSC Le partage des eaux
Francine Larouche, lawyer
Katia Quinchon, psychologist at CLSC Le partage des eaux, which talked about grief and caregivers
Assemblies also took place in order to develop the chart and general rules, as well as to organise themed meetings.
The non-profit organisation obtained its letters patent on May 10 1999. The name they chose was: Regroupement des personnes aidantes naturelles du Rouyn-Noranda régional.
Coffee meetings continued to take place with, among others, Mrs. Manon Gaudet of the CLSC Partage des Eaux.
With the objective of promoting the organisation, a tour of local seniors clubs was prepared. A scenario was created in order to explain, as simply as possible, what is a caregiver, his or her daily experience and how the Regroupement can help. The visited seniors’ clubs were: Beaudry, Bellecombe, Montbeillard, Destor and Immaculée-Conception.
Coffee meetings occurred every first Monday of the month, between February and June.
The Regroupement drew up a funding request to the Regional health and social services agency in order to promote and develop its services further more.
Founding assembly on May 8th 2000.
Memoir preparation and writing on the organisation for the «Commission Clair», as well as health and social services funding.
Regroupement representation at the sectorial Elders’ Table.
On May 26th 2001, the Regroupement participates at the Regroupement des aidants naturels du Québec’s general foundation assembly. Funding request with S.O.C. (Soutien aux organismes communautaires).
The Regroupement sent out pamphlets to various strategic places in order to promote its activities.
The Regroupement organised presentations with local organisations. Coffee meetings and conferences continue to be planned.
Promotion of the Regroupement and its activities in all information medias.
Participation in the Coalition Solidarité Santé de Montréal’s fundraising campaign for home support.
First symposium on «Recognition, support, commitment».
«Recognition, support, commitment» symposium’s acts presentation.
Membership cards establishment.
Regroupement presentation and information booth at the Elders' show.
Recognition of the Regroupement’s first symposium from Healthy City during their Volunteer work recognition Gala.
In addition to coffee meetings and conferences, the Regroupement now offers therapeutic art workshops, as well as various training.
Participation at the Regroupement des aidants naturels du Québec’s annual general meeting.
Funding obtained to produce a «Survival Guide» for caregivers.
Information booth at the Elders’ show for the second year.
«L’Arc en ciel»’s first publication from the Regroupement.
Ongoing coffee meetings, conferences and therapeutic art workshops for members and non-members.
Elders’ Forum participation.
«Survival Guide : The challenge of being a caregiver»'s launch.
The Regroupement acquires a representative logo.
Community television involvement with the Elders’ Table to present the Regroupement, its mission, its objectives, its accomplishments and future projects.
Ongoing therapeutic art workshops, coffee meetings and conferences.
Following requests from groups in La Sarre, Temiscamingue and Val d’Or, the Regroupement promotes its services across Abitibi-Temiscamingue.
Ville La Salle’s caregivers symposium participation.
Three publications of «L’Arc-en-ciel» paper.
Organisation of the Regroupement’s second symposium «Caregivers in action».
Acquisition of a permanent office.
Ongoing coffee meetings and conferences.
Three publications of «L’Arc-en-ciel» paper.
Ongoing promotional activities, coffee meetings and conferences.
The Regroupement hires a permanent employee.
Therapeutic art (on grief and loss) and writing workshops.
Two publications of «L’Arc-en-ciel» paper and one publication of a new information bulletin.
In order to clarify the Regroupement’s mission, values, objectives and services offered to caregivers, board members hold a strategic planning retreat, with the intention of defining them according to their members’ needs. The web site is created, as well as the Regroupement’s pamphlet and poster. Furthermore, a resources show is implemented during caregivers’ week.
A reunion day is organised in May for the Regroupement’s 10th anniversary. The office is now opened three days a week and there is a sign outside the building. An awareness campaign is held for health professionals, community organisations and any other health related company or association.
A collaboration with Rouyn-Noranda’s Alzheimer’s Society’s «Espace-Temps» project begins. The Regroupement’s coordinator sets up a computer presentation about its services, mission and objectives. Coffee meetings and discussion breakfasts are now more recurring. The «Survival Guide» is republished. The Regroupement collaborates to the implementation of the AQDR’s «S.O.S. Abuse» kit. Lastly, the Family and Health Ministry grants the Regroupement the funding needed for the regional awareness campaign project that will begin in 2011.
The project leader is hired for the regional awareness campaign project. Marguerite Blais, minister, announces the funding obtained in 2010 during a press conference in May. The first phase of the project begins with the creation and translation of different tools, a resource book (for caregivers across the region), production of a promotional video for main services offered to caregivers across the region, revamping of the organisation (new name, new logo, new website in French and English). From now on, the Regroupement is called «Regroupement proches-aidants Rouyn-Noranda». Then follows the republishing of the Survival Guide, as well as the initial contact with resources to visit during the second phase of the project. These resources include employers, unions, rural settings, French, English and aboriginal, everywhere across the region. Furthermore, the coordinator and the project leader offer a series of workshops to help caregivers prevent exhaustion.
A conference press is held on April 23rd to finalise the first year of the awareness campaign project and announce the regional tour's launch to raise awareness with employers, unions and municipalities. The tour occurred in all 5 territories of the region and a total of 64 resources were seen between April 2012 and March 2013 The promotional video, produced during the first phase of the project, was broadcasted across social media, as well as on television, in order to reach caregivers and population that are likely to be living in isolation. The regular activities of the Regroupement continu and the organisation becomes «Espace-Temps»’ project trustee.
The symposium preparations begin, under the theme «Getting informed is getting equipped». This will serve as a conclusion for the awareness campaign project, as well as a collective reflective exercise for caregivers and workers. The organisation also receives the good news that its funding is increased and is now able to have a permanent employee 4 days a week.