Image of caregivers of stroke patients

Bridgepoint’s Stroke Program teams are preparing for their Stroke Distinction on-site visit from Accreditation Canada on September 9 to 11. They’ll be showing surveyors a group of projects that were months in the making—a collaboration between caregivers and care providers that is enhancing the patient and caregiver experience on the unit.

The projects have been made possible by a larger initiative taking place across Sinai Health. It’s a three-year partnership between Sinai Health, The Change Foundation and WoodGreen Community Services. The initiative is called Cultivating Change and the goal is to provide more support for caregivers, recognizing their important role as part of the care team.

The focus has been on improved education, resources and support for caregivers during their time at Bridgepoint and the transition back to the community.

Jennifer Ridgway, Program Lead for Cultivating Change says the element of collaboration was essential. “The projects were developed through an experience-based co-design approach where caregivers and health care providers worked together. It started with caregivers sharing their experiences supporting someone who required care. This improved understanding of caregivers’ needs throughout the project. The co-design approach helped us stay focused on the outcomes and find solutions that worked for everyone – the caregivers, patients and health care providers.”

 Members of the stroke team

Members of the stroke team with the care provider description wall.

Bridgepoint’s Stroke Program Cultivating Change Projects

Care team description wall: Large murals with descriptions of the roles of the care team have been installed on the stroke inpatient units. Surveys taken before and after the installation show that access to this information is helping caregivers understand the roles of the team and better identify the different professionals they interact with on the unit.

Support groups: Two new groups have been launched to provide an opportunity for caregivers to connect and talk about the challenges that come with caregiving. The first is a drop-in style peer support group and the second is a formal group led by a physician and social worker. These groups were started for caregivers in the Stroke Program but have now expanded and are open to all caregivers at Bridgepoint.

Caregiver education and training:  Knowledge about stroke and stroke recovery are important for optimizing well-being after a stroke. This multi-part project addresses the need for caregiver education by providing new tools: a knowledge checklist helps caregivers and patients identify any gaps in their knowledge about stroke recovery and self-management. Adding a Saturday afternoon session has made Bridgepoint’s Stroke Education Series available to more patients and caregivers.

Animated style image of a woman wearing a blood pressure cuff that says 120 over 80.

An animated video is being created as a new way of delivering information from Bridgepoint’s Stroke Education Series for patients and families.

Jennifer says that the projects are already having a positive impact and demonstrate excellence and leadership in stroke care. “These projects show that we value and recognize the importance of caregivers in the recovery process.”

For more information on Stroke Distinction, please click here.