Thrive Family and Friend Caregiver Support Program
The BC Centre on Substance Use’s Family and Friend Caregiver Supports Program is funded by the Government of BC and managed by the United Way. This program, called Thrive, focuses on providing supports and services for informal (family members and friends who provide unpaid care) caregivers of older adults who use alcohol and other substances. This also includes elderly people at risk of the harms associated with the use of multiple prescription medications (polypharmacy). We are aiming to provide emotional support to family and friend caregivers through support groups, increase their interconnectedness through peer support, provide training and workshops for hands-on learning about addiction care, as well as providing education to increase caregivers’ knowledge about addiction in older adults.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, programming is offered remotely, and the programming will involve providing a collection of resources for caregivers, signposting them to resources that are available to them, educating caregivers about substance use, and providing emotional support to caregivers. This program is continuously evolving, and will develop to reflect the needs of caregivers as we are given feedback about how to best serve them.
The geographical program service areas are Fort St. John and surrounding communities, and Vancouver. However, the current remote nature of programming allows for referrals from other places within British Columbia for some of the program services.
The target population is family members and friends who are informal caregivers of older adults who use alcohol and other substances. Older adults include anyone over the age of 55 years old. Caregiver relation to the elderly person includes partners or spouses, children, siblings and friends of any age. Elderly people who are at risk of harms associated with substance use include individuals who use multiple prescription medications.
Thrive is funded by the Government of BC and managed by the United Way.