CAREGIFTED aims to provide relief to weary caregivers themselves, and to help make sure caregiver stories are heard. We realize it is difficult to find trustworthy replacement care while you are away, but being able to do so is a prerequisite for participation in this program.
You are eligible to apply if, for more than a decade, you have given up much of your own leisure and occupation in order to do live-in full-time care for a severely disabled family member, and can arrange respite help at home during a getaway week. For getaways involving excursions into Canada, an active passport and sufficient mobility to climb a flight of stairs is required.
The resources available to us mean that the program may be most congenial to those with an interest in nature and the arts, and those who are willing to share their stories (for a CAREGIFTED documentary film or book, to be distributed for the benefit of CAREGIFTED's non-profit activities and to acquaint the general public with caregiver concerns and experiences). Those who are honored in the program's first two years will thus have a part in helping sustain it for the benefit of others in the future.
All lodgings are upscale locations in small, walkable towns, and if you wish company, your concierge will escort you on local excursions or arrange great dining options in easy walking distance (food allowance for one is included).
Watch marine wildlife, visit local vineyards, catch a seaplane! Visitors to Vancouver Island might choose a whale-watching excursion or horse-drawn carriage, or to tour Canada's oldest Chinatown, or sightsee in world-class gardens, castles and seaside promenades. In all locations we can arrange outings to fine cultural and historic offerings—or you can just sit on your patio or balcony and (for once) relax!
Please read the following criteria carefully before filling out an application.
The personal candidate statements submitted to CAREGIFTED with your application should address the following five selection criteria:
- CAREGIVER’S TIME IN SERVICE: Our focus will be on those who have been primary caregivers for ten years or more.
- NATURE OF DISABILITY IN FAMILY: The individuals we honor must be live-in caregivers to family members who can be attested (by certified medical authority) to require full-time provision of care. Kindly send a corroborating note from the state-licensed medical professional most familiar with your case. We realize that there are many in need. We hope in time to foster or inspire like-minded programs to help provide respite.
- AVAILABILITY OF SUBSTITUTE CARE DURING THE GETAWAY WEEK: We understand that finding someone else to provide care during the getaway week can be very challenging. But one operating criterion is the availability of a trusted third party or agency the caregiver is willing to designate and engage in her (or his) absence from home. We serve the caregiver's own independent respite needs.
- TIME AND/OR LOCATION SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY: Some CAREGIFTED getaway locations have stairs, and all locations and concierges have limited periods of availability. For caregivers’ comfort and safety, we are very scrupulous about the quality and location for furnished accommodations that meet CAREGIFTED standards. These and other compatibility issues factor into our decision.
- PROCEDURES IN THE CASE OF A SURFEIT OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES FOR ANY LOCATIONS AND/OR DATES AVAILABLE: In any selection period where there is a surfeit of eligible candidates for locations and/or dates, and where severities of disability or circumstance make comparable and competing claims for attention, the selection committee shall choose candidates by lottery.
We will accommodate as many retreats a year as we can fund, but there are many worthy caregivers, and many of our efforts go to reach those who can be enlisted to help honor and support them. Our pilot program began in 2013, at an early pace of about 10 getaways annually. Kindly understand if you aren't one of our awardees. We are doing what we can, and we hope to inspire others to do the same.