While they may seem invincible, caregivers also need help from time to time.
Luckily, there is an organization that is dedicated to helping caregivers.
The Parent's Survival Resource & Connection Society is designed to do exactly that.
"We had created Parent's Survival in order to care for the caregivers because if they don't get the help they need, those children or those adult children, or just even the adults themselves will not get the help they need," explains president and co-founder Shelly Jaques. "And we felt it was really important for caregivers to be looked after as much as their children with disabilities or their loved ones with disabilities."
This society was started nearly two years ago, by two mothers who both are raising children with disabilities.
"It was kind of a brainchild of myself and my partner Jessica Nielson. We both have children with disabilities. She has seven, all facing their own different disabilities. And then I have a daughter for myself," explains Jaques. "When we first started out, my daughter and myself, there wasn't really very many of these resources that you see today."
So, Jaques had to figure out a lot of things for herself.
Along the way, Jaques created a system that showed everything they did to find help and resources.
Jessica Nielson was one of the parents that Jaques' system helped.
At the time of their meeting, Nielson was wanting to write a book about schooling and how to communicate.
Jaques and Nielson ended up writing a book together that helps guide people through the chaos caused by diagnoses. This book eventually led to the creation of Parent's Survival.
"It started out as a book. From there I had a lot of different places, from resource places, to agencies, even the parents themselves had basically said, 'You really need to make this a non-profit,'" explains Jaques. She adds that there are a lot of parents still struggling to navigate through the resources available.
So, that's what Jaques and Nielson did.
This society helps caregivers in several different ways, including helping to apply to support systems, advocating, and offering programs and workshops to help inform people in rural areas what resources they have access to.
They also have workbooks available for caregivers.
"When you are seeing doctors, and when you are seeing a lot of different agencies and that, they give you so much information," says Jaques. So, what they did was combine the most commonly asked questions, tip sheets, and activities, and made it a sort of step-by-step instruction book on what you would most likely need to know.
These books are available through the Parent's Survival Resource & Connection Society.
They also host several events throughout the year, including Sensory Santa.
This a sensory-safe Christmas party that allows kids to come in with their families and be surrounded by people in similar situations.
They have sensory-safe activities and one-on-one photos with Santa.
It costs $5 per child to attend the Sensory Santa event.
Other than the cost to attend Sensory Santa, almost everything else they offer is free.
Because of that, they are always looking for sponsors, donors, corporate partners, and donations.
For those individuals who wish to help out, they are currently collecting donations as part of their Santa's Drops program.
The Santa's Drops program runs from November 13 to December 11, so people still have time to bring in their donations.
They currently have donation bins at AdaptAbilitiy in Calgary.
These hampers will then be delivered by Santa to families with disabilities.
For more information on how to access resources or how to donate, check out their website.
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