First of its kind: Family Caregiver Centre now open!

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October 30th, 2019- Many guests from the local community and beyond were at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) today for a ribbon cutting and official opening of its newest addition: the Changing CARE: Embrace Family Caregiver Centre. It is the first support service of its kind in the Eastern Champlain region of Ontario.
Family caregivers could be a spouse, partner, family member, friend, neighbour or colleague who provide critical and ongoing care to a loved one, without payment.

The Family Caregiver Centre, is now available to help with their caregiver journey, providing access to a lounge, kitchenette and family meeting room. “We recognize how important family caregiver support is to the health and wellbeing of members of our community; we are proud to provide a space for those caring others,” explains Jeanette Despatie, President and CEO of CCH.

In addition to the physical space, caregivers will be able to visit the centre to pick up printed information, request an educational book on loan, and access the website. This site provides information that is relevant to family caregivers who provide support to people living with an addiction and mental health problem. Other resources include information for caregivers supporting those affected by cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart & stroke, multiple sclerosis, palliative care and Parkinson’s. More resource information will be added to the centre as it becomes available.

The opening of the new centre is a significant outcome of the Changing CARE: Embrace project, which aims to improve the experience of family caregivers in the addiction and mental health system across Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry and Akwesasne. Changing CARE: Embrace is an initiative of Cornwall Community Hospital and the Cornwall & District Family Support Group and is one of The Change Foundation’s four Changing CARE projects across Ontario, each designed to improve the local caregiver experience with the healthcare system in its own way.

“Embrace’s goal was to make a difference in people’s lives by supporting, strengthening and building resiliency among caregivers who are caring for those with addiction and mental health problems,” says Cathy Fooks, President and CEO of The Change Foundation. “The new Family Caregiver Centre is just another example of the change they’re making in their community, and, most importantly, it’s being done in a sustainable way that has involved caregivers and the community every step of the way.”

The new Family Caregiver Centre is conveniently located on the main floor of Cornwall Community Hospital at 840 McConnell Avenue, in Cornwall, Ontario. The centre will be open to family caregivers daily, Monday to Sunday, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., starting Thursday, October 31, 2019. Trained volunteers who have lived experience as family caregivers themselves will be available to provide one-on one support to visitors Monday to Friday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.