Tools and Initiatives 

As part of The Change Foundation’s “listening and learning” phase of our 2015-2020 strategic plan, a comprehensive research plan was completed to get a clearer picture of family caregivers in the province—the breadth and depth of their experiences and challenges, as well as existing supports, tools and initiatives.


Literature Reviews

We completed two literature reviews and environmental scans to identify existing caregiver assessment tools and innovative collaborations. Both are available to for download below.

Family Caregiver Assessment in Health Care Settings

Given the Foundation’s focus on the interactions between family caregivers and providers, we wanted to learn more about existing caregiver assessment tools and best practices in assessing their needs. The research identified a number of caregiver assessment tools that will help providers and caregivers determine their level of preparedness, knowledge and skills.

> Click here to download the summary report.     > Click here to download the full literature review.


Innovative Collaborations Between Family Caregivers and Health Care Providers

We also conducted an additional literature review and environmental scan to identify innovative collaborations and initiatives between providers and caregivers. This review identified a number of promising initiatives in Ontario, other provinces in Canada and the United Kingdom where family caregivers and providers on the care team have worked together successfully.

> Click here to download the summary report.     > Click here to download the full literature review.

Toolkit Resources

Change Your Lens outlines how an organization can start a support program for families, based on a program at CHEO (a pediatric health and research centre in Ottawa) that was co-designed and is co-led by parents.

Discovery Toolkit for Supporting Family Caregivers of Seniors The toolkit is for health care providers and stakeholders who support family caregivers.  The toolkit includes tools for learning and discussion including slide presentations, handouts and suggested resources.

Evidence-based Co-design Toolkit, originally developed by The King’s Fund and now managed by The Point of Care Foundation in the UK. The tool-kit includes step-by-step guidance and downloadable resources.

Health Service Co-design Toolkit, developed the Waitemata District Health Board in New Zealand, provides practical tools for working effectively with patients and family caregivers in healthcare service improvement work.

MeSSAGES – a seven-week online Francophone program that provides caregivers with training, education, and tools about caregiving and stress management. The program is run by l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.

Establishing collaborative initiatives between mental health and primary care services for Aboriginal peoples is a toolkit to support and enhance the relationships and collaboration between health care providers, consumers, families and caregivers.

The Caregiver Mobilization Toolkit, developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, is intended to support individuals, groups, or organizations in their efforts to help others understand and implement the recommendations in the National Guidelines for a Comprehensive Service System to Support Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Problems and Illnesses. It provides concrete direction to system planners, policy makers, and mental health managers in planning, implementing and evaluating a family-friendly system of care.

The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly has developed evidence-based resources for caregivers including a Caregiver Self-care Tool.

The National Resource Centre on LGBT Aging has developed a series of toolkits and resources in a variety of languages for providers, caregivers, and LGBTQ individuals experiencing ageing.

Next Steps in Care, a program of the United Hospital Fund in the US, provides easy-to-use guides to help family caregivers and health care providers work closely together to plan and implement safe and smooth transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients.

NHS England Carers Toolkit NHS England and its partners developed a toolkit to help health and social care organizations to work together to identify, assess and support the well-being of carers and their families.

Organizing Your Practice to Support Family Caregivers: A Toolkit for Doctors. Doctors of British Columbia.

Palliative Care Toolkit for Indigenous Communities includes resources and reference material for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis families and communities. Developed by Cancer Care Ontario, these education materials provide support to help caregivers care for their loved ones experiencing advanced cancer.

Patient Oriented Discharge Summary (PODS) Toolkit PODS is aimed at improving patient-centredness at the time of discharge. The toolkit is designed according to best practices by providers, caregivers, and patients.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six week education program for caregivers to develop a range of self-care strategies. It is a train-the-trainer proprietary program, widely used in the US and promoted by the Family Caregiver Alliance.

Promising practices and indicators for caregiver education and support programs – a report prepared by Brookman, C., Holyoke, P., Toscan, J., Bender, D., Tapping, E. (2011). Promising practices and indicators for caregiver education and support programs. Markham, ON: Saint Elizabeth.

Toolbox is a Francophone resource that facilitates partnership between organizations and caregivers.

Working Families is a British based organization dedicated to helping worker-carers and their employers find a balance between responsibilities at home and at the workplace. They provide toolkits, guides, and policies to increase the capacity of employers in building a more supportive workplace for their employees.



The Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative advocates for improving mental health care in the primary care setting through interdisciplinary collaboration. Through the creation of evidence-based research papers and a series of toolkits, this initiative supports collaboration among health care providers, consumers and caregivers.  Telemedicine IMPACT Plus (TIP) provides rapid access to a team of professionals to enable proactive health and social care for patients with complex conditions, and their family. View the TIP for Patients and Family Caregivers initiative.

The Work and Care Initiative (launched by Carers Australia) aims to improve the capacity of carers to combine employment with their caring responsibilities, and to assist long-term carers on income support to transition into employment when their caring role ceases or is reduced. As part of this initiative,  Carers Australia has developed resources and guidelines for employers who are interested in becoming a carer-friendly workplace.


After hearing from all of you @davidkaplanmd shares his reflections and discusses the overarching themes of today’s Primary Care Virtual Community session. Thank you David for summarizing for the team. #ONPrimaryCareLeads