Caregiver distress, congratulations to award-winning members, and more updates from OCSA!
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April 2016


This month, Health Quality Ontario released a new report examining the struggles of unpaid caregivers in the province. Unfortunately, the results come as no surprise. Caregivers face ever higher levels of distress, anger, and depression; many are on the verge of becoming unable to provide care.

Part of the solution to this problem is improving the consistency, organization, and integration of our sector, which is currently being tackled as part of the Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care. Another part is respecting the important role unpaid caregivers play in our health system, and providing them with the training they need.

Most importantly, however, is reducing the burden on caregivers to a more manageable level. And that's where community support services such as respite services, Meals on Wheels, transportation services and adult day programs are absolutely key. These services assure caregivers that they don't need to care for their loved one alone, improving the physical and emotional well-being of clients and caregivers alike.

As we work to improve the health system, let's make sure these services receive the attention, recognition, and funding they deserve.

- Deborah Simon, CEO

In your experience, how serious an issue is caregiver distress? 

lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest
Sorry, voting is closed.


Did you know: In addition to the public OCSA Bulletin, OCSA member organization leaders receive an exclusive Members' Update containing inside information and policy updates. The latest issue went out in March - visit the Members Only section of the website to check it out!

Not a member yet? Learn more about the benefits of membership!

The Reality of Caring: Distress Among the Caregivers of Home Care Patients

A new report just released by Health Quality Ontario takes a closer look at the challenges faced by unpaid caregivers who look after long-stay home care patients.

The Reality of Caring examines the growth in the number of home care patients in Ontario who have unpaid caregivers (i.e., family members, friends, neighbours) who are distressed or unable to continue caregiving. The report finds that home care patients are becoming collectively more elderly, ill and impaired, which has created a significant challenge for their caregivers who are family and friends. This, in addition to other factors outlined in the report, often has a negative effect on the working lives, personal relationships and social activities of these unpaid caregivers.

For more findings and to read the report visit

To bring the data within the report to life, Health Quality Ontario consulted a panel of caregivers with experience providing care over a long period. Listen to Carole Ann share some of the challenges she faced when caring for her husband

OCSA Members Receive Awards for Voluntarism

During National Volunteer Week, Ontario's Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade recognized 11 individuals and eight organizations with a June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism. Recipients were celebrated for their commitment to volunteering and longstanding service to their communities. 

Three of the eight organizations are OCSA members! Our congratulations and thanks go out to:

  • Carefor Volunteer Drivers of Pembroke is a volunteer-based transportation program that provides escorted transportation to and from essential services for seniors or disabled persons, taking them to local or out-of-town medical appointments. Volunteers completed more than 227,000 trips for close to 13,000 individuals last year, covering 3.7 million kilometres. 
  • Hospice Toronto's Complementary Therapy Volunteer Team supports individuals and their families who are coping with a life-threatening illness. The Complementary Therapy Program provides clients with access to therapies such as massage, reiki and reflexology, which have a positive impact on their well-being. The therapies are provided at no cost by a team of professionals who volunteer their time and skills. 
  • Community Support Centre of Essex County of Belle River has provided community services in Belle River and Essex County for more than 32 years. Its hundreds of volunteers stock the shelves of the community food pantry, drive clients to medical treatments, deliver meals and visit those who are unable to leave their homes easily. Volunteers also assist with the Centre's seasonal programs and fundraising events. 
Registration Details


Earlier this month, we released our call for workshop and poster presenters for our 2016 conference. We've already received many outsanding submissions from home and community support providers, and other health system stakeholders. 

Topics of particular interest include: 

  • Shaping the Future of Home and Community Care 
  • Health Beyond Health Care: Intersections and Equity
  • Leadership in Uncertain Times
  • Collaborating for Optimal Client Outcomes
  • Exceptional Practices in Home and Community Support 
  • Putting Clients and Caregivers First 

Haven't submitted your abstract yet? Put those finishing touches on it - the deadline is this Saturday. Click here for more information.


Software and Technology Purchasing - Tips and Traps
May 18, 2016 from 11:00am – 12:30pm

Health and social service organizations are active users of various software and other technology platforms for supporting the conduct of their business and delivery of integrated services.  Software and technology agreements contain various unique terms and conditions that should be given careful consideration from a risk management perspective. Join lawyer Karima Kanani from Miller Thomson LLP as she explores key terms of software and technology agreements, and considerations for procurement and use in a collaborative environment.

More information and registration instructions were distributed to OCSA Members this week. Check your inbox, login to the Members Only website, or contact for details.


Events and programs hosted by OCSA members. Are you an OCSA Member who would like to promote an event or program in our next issue? E-mail a link and one-sentence description to


Upcoming Training:
interRAI Community Health Assessment Workshop
June 14, 15 and 16, 2016 in Toronto
This comprehensive three-day workshop will equip new assessors with the skills and confidence they need to conduct quality interRAI CHA assessments, and use the information to inform and evaluate personalized care plans. In a supportive and engaging environment, participants will learn the general principles of conducting a competent interRAI assessment and learn how to accurately document client information through the interRAI CHA system.  For full workshop information and registration link, please visit

Did you know that we deliver interRAI CHA training all across Ontario?  If you’d like more information about how we can bring this workshop to your community, call us at 800-267-6272 or 416-256-3010 ext. 229 or email

We realize the potential of your organization.

Since 2001, Capacity Builders has been providing affordable training and management support to a wide-range of not-for-profit community health organizations across Ontario. We support Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders and Direct Care staff so they are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to provide quality service. Capacity Builders is a division of the Ontario Community Support Association. Click here to subscribe to our training newsletter.

More from Capacity Builders!


The Quality Advantage – The Board’s Role in Quality Improvement

Boards play a significant role ensuring that organizations have processes in place to measure and deliver quality care.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Board’s role in Quality Improvement, please visit The Quality Advantage website for a free webinar:

OCSA is committed to supporting the Home and Community Support sector to achieve our common goal of providing the highest quality experience to clients. Through our website, The Quality Advantage, we are able to provide numerous QI tools and resources, stories from the sector, and provide training updates.


Quick links from around the sector.


Job postings from OCSA member organizations.

OCSA is pleased to advertise job opportunities on behalf of our members. To be included in our next issue, please e-mail a link to the posting, job location, and application deadline to

Please submit at least 4 weeks before applications close.
OCSA - Ontario Community Support Association
Copyright © 2016 Ontario Community Support Association, All rights reserved.

Across the province each year, over one million people receive home care and community support services – and the need is growing. The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) champions a strong, sustainable home and community support sector for all Ontarians. Our not-for-profit, community-based member organizations provide a wide variety of health and wellness services which help a full range of clients, including seniors and people with disabilities, remain independent in their own homes and communities. These compassionate and cost-effective services improve quality of life and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency room visits and premature institutionalization. They are the key to a sustainable health care system for Ontario. For more information, visit 

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