Caring for Seniors

family member giving care

The Challenges of Caregiving

Whether you are new to caregiving or have years of experience, caregiving for a loved one can be challenging. Caregivers may feel physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. 

Signs of caregiver distress can include:

  • withdrawal from friends and family
  • changes in appetite (eating more, eating less)
  • changes in sleep patterns (not enough sleep, too much sleep)
  • loss of interest in usual activities
  • feelings of irritability, anger, frustration, stress and depression
  • missing personal appointments and neglecting personal care

Caregiver Support and Resources

Family Caregivers of BC
Family Caregivers of BC (FCBC) is a BC-wide organization offering free one-to-one and group support to family and friend caregivers who provide unpaid physical and/or emotional care to people living with chronic physical or mental illness, frailty due to aging, or disability.  
Our programs and services include: 

  • BC Caregiver Support Line 1-877-520-3267 – trained staff offer direct free one-to-one emotional support, health system navigation, information and referral, brief action planning, and caregiver coaching by referral.
  • Extensive online Caregiver Resource Center with resources and tools, webinars, podcasts, workshops and more.
  • Caregiver Support Groups (virtually and in-person)
  • Caregiver Support Group Facilitator Training and Community of Practice 
  • Caregiver Rx Social Prescribing Service: Submit an Online Caregiver Consent & Referral Form and the caregiver will receive a call from Family Caregivers of BC within two business days.
  • Collaboration with community, Island Health and government partners to include the family caregiver voice in health care policy and practice.

More information can be found at Family Caregivers BC.

Caregiver Support Line
Toll Free: 1-877-520-3267 
#6-3318 Oak Street
Victoria, BC  V8X 1R1 

The Government of British Columbia website offers many practical resources and suggestions to support caregivers living and caring for loved ones on Vancouver Island.

Caregiver Support Program

Island Health’s Caregiver Support Program helps family caregivers on Vancouver Island improve their emotional wellbeing and coping skills in their caregiving role. Services include:

  • brief one-to-one counselling 
  • skill-building classes 
  • facilitated peer support groups

The program is virtual which means the telephone (counselling) and computer (classes and support groups) are used to provide support wherever the caregiver is.

To register, call:

Download the Caregiver Support Program brochure


If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, please visit the Dementia page for useful links and resources. 

Respite Care

Some caregivers may need a temporary break from looking after their family member. Visit the Respite Care page to find out what is available through Island Health and how to apply.


News & Events

Innovative program allows Cowichan residents to transition temporarily between hospital and home

Innovative program allows Cowichan residents to transition temporarily between hospital and home

“If I need assistance, it is right here.” Ruby Neubauer, an 80 year old Duncan resident, is relaxing in her recliner at The Meadows assisted living home while she recuperates from a lengthy illness.

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parking sign

Pay parking resumes March 4, 2022

Effective March 4, 2022, pay parking will resume at all Island Health sites that previously had pay parking in place. 

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Caring for the Vulnerable

Caring for the Vulnerable

Healthcare professionals provide care in many settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools and people’s homes, but for those individuals who don’t have a fixed address and require care, some community health services staff go to them. 

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