Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

The Future of Caregiving

September 24, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Virtual powered by EventStream

Register online now!

COVID-19 has upended traditional methods of health care delivery and quickly redefined relationships between patients, providers and families. Today, we have an opportunity to develop a new ‘social contract’ for family caregivers. What role can essential family caregivers play at home, in hospital and in long-term care settings? How can that role be supported, integrated and sustained? Dr. Samir Sinha and Donna Thomson unpack the challenges and opportunities in creating a new vision for the future of unpaid caregiving in Canada.

Donna Thomson is a caregiver, author and activist.  She is the mother of two grown children, one who happens to have severe cerebral palsy and medical complexity. Donna also helped care for her mother who passed away in the summer of 2018 at the age of 96. Donna is the co-author (with Dr. Zachary White) of The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation of Loved One to Caregiver (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) and author of The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving (McArthur and Co., 2010 and The House of Anansi Press, 2014). She blogs regularly at The Caregivers’ Living Room (  Donna is a board director of Kids Brain Health Network, a leader and instructor in family engagement in health research and a facilitator with McMaster Continuing Education’s Caregiving Essentials course. She also teaches families how to advocate for care at The Advocacy School and at For the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Donna sat on The Expert Group on Home and Community Care, the advisory committee for the white paper on aging and on the Working Group on Complex Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Samir Sinha is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults. Dr. Sinha currently serves as the Director of Geriatrics of the Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto, the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Director of Health Policy Research at the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University. He is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

A Rhodes Scholar, after completing his undergraduate medical studies at the University of Western Ontario, he obtained a Masters in Medical History and a Doctorate in Sociology at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Ageing. He has pursued his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto and in Geriatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Sinha’s breadth of international training and expertise in health policy and the delivery of services related to the care of the elderly have made him a highly regarded expert in the care of older adults. In 2012 he was appointed by the Government of Ontario to serve as the expert lead of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy and he is now working on the development of a National Seniors Strategy. In 2014, Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine proclaimed him to be one of Canada’s 50 most influential people and its most compelling voice for the elderly.

Beyond Canada, Dr. Sinha is a Fellow of the American Geriatrics Society and a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Sinha has further consulted and advised hospitals and health authorities in Britain, China, Iceland, Singapore, St. Kitts and Nevis, Taiwan and the United States on the implementation and administration of unique, integrated and innovative models of geriatric care that reduce disease burden, improve access and capacity and ultimately promote health.

In partnership with the McMaster Centre for Continuing Education.