The physical and mental stress, in addition to the psychological, physical, and emotional changes that caregivers endure in the caregiving trajectory have always been core parts of caregiver support provided by professionals. Caregivers need to make appropriate decisions and provide care about specific changes in physical functions, daily activities, and emotions of their loved ones being cared for in their daily lives. These multi-dimensional care needs pose challenges to caregivers in terms of time-dependence, developmental, physical, social, and emotional level, all contributed to what we called caregiver burden. If caregivers provide care under a stressful situation for a prolonged period, they will experience negative impacts on physical, psychological, and social health. Therefore, caregiver support service should shed light on the reduction of caregiver burden. Among various ways to reduce caregiver burden, respite service is by far the most respected service model in the field. Other services focus on teaching caregivers to soothe their emotions. According to our evidence-based research built on the behaviour activation approach, we believe that pleasant activity scheduling can effectively reduce caregiver burden. If we can find gaps in caregivers’ hectic daily care routine and introduce happy times that the caregivers can enjoy alone, with their loved ones being cared for, and with the whole family, the caregiver burden can be substantially reduced. Enjoying happy times daily can enhance the quality of life of caregivers.
【Happy Times Card】 Card Set User Guide
We NEED a "little happiness" when taking care
Everyone must need to be taken care of in their lives, caregiving is closely related to every one of us. We are either taking care of / have taken care of / have an opportunity to take care of people in need in the future. According to the behaviour activation approach, enjoying a “little happiness” daily can effectively reduce caregiver burden and depressive symptoms, and increase happiness!
We CHOOSE a "little happiness" when taking care
"Happy Times Card" offers more than 170 different types of leisure activities, including indoor and outdoor, sports, entertainment, socializing, hobbies, and more. There must be a match for you!
We ACHIEVE a "little happiness" when taking care
The "Happy Times Card" set is suitable for a variety of situations and purposes:
- Have fun by yourself:Choose a piece at random and participate in the activity listed in the card to enjoy the happy times;
- Family fun:In family gatherings, invite individuals or family members to draw pieces and participate in the activities listed in the cards to enjoy the happy times;
- Group work: Invite caregivers for a challenge to do more pleasant activities that are beneficial and make them happy. The cards can spark discussions: 1) What do you do when you want to cheer yourself up? 2) When you are unhappy, what do you do to make yourself happy? 3) What do you plan to do in the future to make yourself or your loved ones happy? The card can further allow caregivers to rank the above options, such as inviting every caregiver to choose the three happiest things and rank them.
- Case work: When a frontline worker contacts a caregiver, he/she can invite the caregiver to select things that make them happy in daily life in the card set, rank, and score them. On the one hand, it can effectively recognize caregivers' "little happiness" pleasant activities. On the other hand, it can encourage caregivers to do it more often and enjoy it every day in the follow-ups. This procedure can also be used to explore the "little happiness" pleasant activities that care recipients enjoy and the "little happiness" pleasant activities that the whole family enjoy.
- Individual communication:Frontline workers can use the card set to share the "little happiness" pleasant activity of the caregivers and their care recipients, to expand the scope of choice, and to promote caregiver support.
- Workshops, training:The card set can be used in caregiver support workshops and training to facilitate discussion of casework, group work, case analysis, etc.
- Ice-breaking game:The opening piece can be used for self-introduction of an ice-breaking game, caregivers can share with other participants their chosen "little happiness" pleasant activity.
Payment supported by:
The production of Happy Times Card is contributed by the collaborative support from different parties. Special acknowledgement to the followings (in alphabetical order):
- All participating parties of the first version of Happy Times Card
- All research participants, caregivers, partners, research team members
- Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service – Carers Support Service
- DARA Limited
- FutureLab@HKU Season 2 participants
- The Hong Kong Council of Social Service – Elderly Service
- The Hong Kong Council of Social Service – Working Group on Carer Service Development
- Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council – Research team and participants of the study on mood status of residents in long term care facilities and its effective intervention strategies
- Kerry Holdings Limited
- Participants of ‘Basic and Certificate Courses on Carer-centric Case Management and Support’
Author: Vivian Lou
Translation: Benita Cheng, Clio Cheng, Caroline Yih
Design: Half Room
Administrative and technical support: Dino Choi, Eva Mak
Publisher: Sau Po Centre on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong
For more information about caregiver, please visit: https://www.caregiving.hku.hk/