Caregivers are the unsung heroes in the lives of the elderly, or people with disabilities who need assistance in their daily lives.

However, caregivers are now facing greater challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara Ferrario of Cowichan Family Caregivers Support says caregivers face an increased risk of burnout.

She says, “some of the support systems that their loved ones relied on have had to be postponed, such as the adult day programs, so caregivers are having to put in extraordinary effort to ensure their safety and care.”

Ferrario says, “caregiving at the best of times can be very isolating and without these respite options caregivers are in a particularly vulnerable situation.”

She also says visitor restrictions at long term care homes often prevent caregivers from providing their usual assistance to the home residents, as well as the facility itself. Ferrario says many caregivers took great pride in the things they were able to do at care homes.

Ferrario says there is a great need for more volunteer caregivers as many are “actually of the age group that are most at risk during this crisis, so some volunteers did have to step back in order to protect themselves or their loved ones.”

She says there has been a very good response from the community to the need that’s out there, “Cowichan really saw people stepping up to fill those gaps, and those people really had to be innovative in coming up with new ways to provide support.”

The Cowichan Family Caregivers Support organization provides one-on-one support and help with information, as well as a chance to connect with someone and share feelings.

You can contact them at 250-597-0886, or visit their website.