Caregiving Essentials 2023 – 2024


Are you an unpaid caregiver who is interested in learning how to navigate complex systems, deal with serious health issues, acquire high quality information, and be the best caregiver you can? If so, Caregiving Essentials is the course for you.

Course Description

This course is for informal or formal caregivers of older adults interested in learning about the essentials of caregiving. These areas include but are not limited to the role of caregiver, health and medical information, complex issues (power of attorney, financial matters, family expectations and relationships), navigating systems, and self-care.

Participants will benefit from the information provided in the course, optional discussions with others, and independent learning activities. The course has been developed by McMaster University’s Centre for Continuing Education, McMaster Institute on Aging (MIRA), and THRIVE Group with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Seniors Affairs. Ongoing offering of this course is in partnership with the Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario.


The course consists of five modules:

Module 1
Find out about roles and responsibilities of the caregiver. The module will define the role, outline what caregivers in Canada look like today, and ask you to reflect on how you became a caregiver. It also highlights ethical issues that must be considered when taking on a caregiver role.

Module 2
Learn what you can do to help make a home safe, when a situation calls for a visit to the doctor or the emergency room and how to manage medications. You’ll also learn where to locate resources around common aging-related conditions as well as other valuable resources.

Module 3
Discover where to find essential resources and assistance around finances, medical care and social and recreation services. Learn about the importance of financial planning and strategies for navigating family relationships, as well as health, medical and social systems.

Module 4
Caregiving can be an emotional experience—one that is often fraught with highs and lows. Learn how to identify stressors and recognize symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Build personal coping strategies and develop strategies that will help make caregiving as positive and meaningful as possible.

Module 5
As a caregiver, you’ll find that your greatest tool is knowledge. Resources in this module will help you to make informed choices throughout your caregiving experience.

Course Details

Course Facilitators 

Donna Thomson, Caregiver, Author and Activist, McMaster Continuing Education



  Engaging Activities
  Video Lessons
  Discussion Forums
Cost per student: FREE

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 Start Date: October 11, 2023
 End Date: August 2, 2024
 Duration: 10 hours (self-paced)
 Cost: FREE

Registration is open from October 10, 2023 until August 2, 2024.

479 seats available.
Price: Free