COMPASS for the Caregiver is a free, weekly workshop (8 weeks’ duration) that teaches caregivers to care for themselves.

Who it’s for

Do you assist a family member or friend living with challenges resulting from disability, illness or aging? If you said yes, you are a caregiver and might benefit from attending this workshop. COMPASS for the Caregiver is open to anyone aged 18 or older.

What you’ll learn

The COMPASS for the Caregiver workshop is facilitated by a volunteer who understands how hard caring for someone else can be. The workshop encourages caregivers to recognize that in order to care for a loved one, they must first care for themselves. Participants find their strength and accept their limitations as together they tackle some of the most challenging aspects of caregiving:

  • Difficult emotions like guilt and resentment
  • Dealing with family, friends and health professionals who just don’t seem to understand
  • Managing stress and depression
  • Finding time for yourself

By the week

Workshop participants meet in the evenings once per week for eight weeks. Here’s what a typical workshop schedule looks like:

Week 1: Caregiver characteristics

Recognize your role as a caregiver and take pride in your contributions to a healthy society.

Week 2: The emotional journey

Explore your emotions and put feelings of guilt into perspective while recognizing your strengths, needs and challenges.

Week 3: The balancing act

Explore grief and loss, and how to foster hope and seek balance in caregiving.

Week 4: Improving communication

Gain confidence and learn how to communicate what you need, ask for help, and share the care.

Week 5: Putting yourself first

The hardest lesson; regain your identity as a whole person by taking care of yourself first.

Week 6: Managing stress

Learn how stress can lead to burnout and what you can do to prevent or recover from burnout.

Week 7: Navigating the system

Increase your confidence in accessing services and learning about Caregivers Alberta

Week 8: Planning for the journey ahead

Reflect on your caregiving journey and plan for the future to avoid the stress associated with uncertainty.

Participants gather again 4-6 weeks after the eighth session for a follow-up, and to share successes and challenges.

Program location

Workshops are held at the following locations:

  • Bowness Community Association, 7904 43 Avenue NW (map)
  • PCN Main Office, Suite 301, 1701 – Centre Street N (map)
  • Crescent Heights – Wild Rose United Church, 1317 1 Street NW (map)
  • Crowfoot Primary Care Centre, 60 Crowfoot Crescent NW (map)
  • Riley Park Primary Care Centre, 1402 8 Avenue NW (map)
  • Vivo for Healthier Generations, 11950 Country Village Link NE (map)
  • Cochrane: Cochrane Community Health Centre, 60 Grande Blvd. Please note: Cochrane COMPASS workshops are offered through Family and Community Support Services, as a partnership with several community health care providers and the PCN. In Cochrane, patients can learn more and register by phoning 403-851-2250. Please note that program fees may apply.

Please note: This workshop runs for eight consecutive weeks on the same day of the week and time. There will be a ninth and final session approximately four to six weeks following Week 8.