Supporting Carers of Patients Living with Chronic Disease

Held June 3, 2015

The third of 4 webinars in our Shifting Culture, Shifting Care: From ‘Usual Care’ to Chronic Care Webinar Series. 


Family caregivers (carers) play a crucial role in providing care to their loved ones, often resulting in a reduction of formal healthcare costs. Carers support patients, allowing them to be cared for, and die, in the patient’s place of choice. Although this is convenient for the patient, the role comes at a cost to the caregiver, specifically to the caregivers’ physical and psychological well-being. There are significant opportunities to improve support for carers and patients in Canada.

Although there is widespread agreement that family carers should be supported, professionals working in health and social services often have little guidance on how this can be achieved. This webinar features robust research, as well as the first-hand account of a carer. Join us as we outline the needs of carers working and living with chronically ill patients and ways of better meeting these needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the evolving role of the carer and the associated challenges of supporting patients living with chronic illness
  • Share one carer’s genuine experience of supporting a family member with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Discover ways to support carers
  • Share specific tools that allow clinicians to identify the needs of carers


denise-nauss-110Denise Nauss, Family Carer, INSPIRED COPD Outreach Program™, Halifax, Canada

Denise Nauss, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, brings professional experience ranging from communications and marketing to sales, administration and fashion. In 2009, Denise decided to devote her time to her critically ill parents. Having three daughters, a husband and both parents under one roof was a challenge, however, it was also the most rewarding experience of Denise’s life. Denise and her late mother, Joyce Mason, participated in the INSPIRED program. Denise is pleased to provide her perspective on the INSPIRED program and her experience as a family caregiver. Most recently, Denise and her late mother were featured in a article as well as a Kaiser Permanente patient and family COPD resource video.

morag-farquhar-110Morag Farquhar, Senior Research Associate at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Morag has worked in health services research in the UK for over 25 years, predominantly in the field of palliative and supportive care. She has worked for health authorities in London, and within the universities of London, Manchester and Cambridge on series of research projects including service evaluations (e.g. practice nurses, paediatric A&E, midwifery teams and breathlessness interventions), studies of patient and carer experiences (e.g. in old age, advanced cancer and non-malignant diseases, and breathlessness in advanced disease) and the development of interventions (e.g. in advanced cancer and non-malignant diseases, and breathlessness in advanced disease).

A graduate nurse by background (King’s College London), she completed a Masters in Medical Sociology and a PhD (University of London) on the definition and measurement of quality of life in older people. Her research interests include breathlessness in advanced disease, palliative care, quality of life, informal carers, older people, service evaluation, and methodology – particularly the development and testing of interventions (including randomised controlled trials in palliative care settings) and the use of mixed methods (integrating applied qualitative and quantitative methods where relevant to answer research questions).

As a Senior Research Associate and NIHR Career Development Fellow in the Department of Public Health & Primary Care (University of Cambridge) she is leading a programme of work on breathlessness in advanced disease including the Living with Breathlessness study and the Learning about Breathlessness study. The Living with Breathlessness study is a UK collaboration between Cambridge, King’s College London and RAND Europe and seeks to identify trajectories of patient and carer need and preferences for care in advanced COPD. The Learning about Breathlessness study aims to develop an educational intervention for carers of patients with breathlessness due to advanced malignant and non-malignant disease. Morag has recently completed an evaluation of the Breathlessness Intervention Service developed following the MRC framework for complex interventions in collaboration with Dr Sara Booth (Addenbrooke’s Hospital) and colleagues. She has also published with colleagues in Canada and Australia in the field of breathlessness in advanced disease.

Morag is also a Senior Lecturer (part time) at the University of Manchester, UK.


Jennifer VermaJennifer Verma, Senior Director, Collaboration for Innovation and Improvement, CFHI

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