Building Online Local Repositories of Caregiver Resources
Often caregivers do not know what services, programs or resources exist to support them in their caregiving role and unfortunately many healthcare providers are also largely unaware of what resources exist to support caregivers or how to access them.
Though efforts have been made to centralize directories of patient supports – they are focused on the patient, not the caregiver. Additionally, these web repositories may not be local, regularly updated or organized in a user-friendly manner for patients and their caregivers to use. Recognizing this, two of the Changing CARE projects developed local websites to support the education and awareness of programs, services and resources for caregivers and healthcare providers. Both projects used a co-designed approach, working with local caregivers and healthcare providers to develop the websites.
If you are interested in developing your own website of local resources, learn about the process the Embrace and the Connecting the Dots … teams took below.
Using best practices in web design and a rigorous co-design process, the Embrace team created embracecaregivers.ca – a bilingual resource hub for caregivers and health providers in the addiction and mental health system across Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry and Akwesasne in Ontario. ,
Spanning 14 months, the creation of the website was guided by a ten-person working group of caregivers and providers in the community. Over 600 caregivers and providers were consulted with, who provided advice and direction in developing the website.
With over 50 website contributors, the team developed a Content Decision Matrix to support them in evaluating and deciphering what resources to include in their website. Adapted from the 6 Criteria for Websites by the Dalhousie University, the Content Decision Matrix can be used to decide what resources to include in developing a new website and can also support organizations in deciding what external resources to add to their website.
Connecting the Dots …
Developed as a centralized directory of services and supports available to caregivers and patients in the Huron & Perth Counties, caregivershuronperth.ca has been tailored for both caregivers and providers. Built as a micro-site on the Southwest Healthline platform, the website pulls from the existing infrastructure to populate information in an organized and easy to use manner as informed by caregivers and providers.
A key feature of the website is the ability to bookmark services into a list that can be printed or shared via email.
For caregivers, this means they can build a personalized repository of supports. For providers, this capability enables them to better support caregivers. For example, during an appointment, a provider can search the website, and print information about the services/supports they discuss with the caregiver.