TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/26/13 -- Canadians who are currently torn between the demands of their jobs and caring for a loved one with dementia such as Alzheimer's disease could soon have access to innovative skills training and tools provided through their workplace. Mount Sinai Hospital has just been awarded a five-year, $2.84 million grant from the Government of Canada's Social Development Partnerships Program to develop the first comprehensive program of its kind in Canada devoted to supporting working caregivers.
The Reitman Centre Working CARERS Program will be developed through an innovative partnership between the federal government, Mount Sinai Hospital and private-sector partners. It will provide employees with skills training, education and emotional support tailored to individual caregiver needs. Delivered to employees and their dependents by trained Employee Assistance professionals, this program will be grounded in therapeutic principles and offer group workshops, hands-on simulation-based caregiver training and individual attention with a goal to relieve the intense pressure and impact that caring for a loved one with dementia has on their lives.
The development of the Reitman Centre Working CARERS Program will be led by Dr. Joel Sadavoy, a leading authority on geriatric mental health with over 30 years of experience and Director of Mount Sinai's Cyril & Dorothy, Joel & Jill Reitman Centre for Alzheimer's Support and Training and Dr. Virginia Wesson, the implementation lead for the program and a skilled geriatric psychiatrist and caregiver specialist. The Reitman Centre is the only centre of its kind in Canada dedicated to comprehensive care for caregivers of patients with dementia. Mount Sinai Hospital is known for its expertise in caring for older adults and it was the first acute care hospital in Canada to make geriatrics a key strategic priority.
The Reitman Centre Working CARERS Program is scheduled to be launched in the fall of 2013 and will be offered by participating corporate partners, beginning with BMO Financial Group as the first to introduce the program. Ceridian HCM, a global leader in human capital management and provider of employee assistance program, LifeWorks, will deliver the program.
With the number of Canadians suffering from dementia expected to nearly double over the next 30 years, programs such as this will play a vital role in sustaining caregivers who are known to be at higher risk for stress-related illnesses, depression and burnout and are looking for effective ways to help address and resolve their challenges.
"Dementia is a growing problem in Canada impacting the lives of Canadians in many ways including a major negative effect on working caregivers productivity and wellbeing. I have seen first hand the value of training programs for caregivers. I am thrilled that this grant will, for the first time, bring effective tools and training to employees in their workplace, helping to reduce their stress, enhance their productivity and improve their relationship with their loved one." Dr. Joel Sadavoy, Director of the Cyril & Dorothy Joel & Jill Reitman Centre for Alzheimer's Support and Training and Head of the Community and Geriatric Psychiatry Services at Mount Sinai Hospital.
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