Home for the Holidays – Assessing Your Loved Ones

  Coming home for the holidays is for many caregivers a very joyous and special time. For some adult children, this visit might represent the first opportunity in several months or a year to personally interact with their aging loved ones. Most long distance caregivers rely on regular telephone conversations or by keeping in close Read more…

How to include loved ones in holiday festivities

  The joy that accompanies the holidays can often feel absent from the halls of a residential care facility or in a widowed grandparent’s home. Our aging loved ones can often feel more lonely or isolated as a result of changes in their senses, memory loss, illness or a loss of mobility. Visiting around the Read more…

Coping Tools for the Holiday Season

I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time.” — Charlie Brown For caregivers, the holidays are often a particularly stressful time of year. Coming face to face with the changes in their loved one’s life is hard enough. Add in gift buying, decorating and entertaining on top of caregiving responsibilities Read more…

Tips for Frustrated Dementia Caregivers

When I was 34 years old, my Nana Cumming died after very slow death from Alzheimer’s disease. I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time and was unable to travel back to Ontario. In many ways, I said “goodbye” a long time ago. I remember grieving most when her dementia was progressing and she was Read more…

Seniors’ housing options in the Comox Valley

It’s time to finish up the “Seniors Housing” series by reviewing options in the Comox Valley. The Comox Valley has a variety of housing choices depending on care needs and available monthly income. Independent Living or Retirement communities or housing geared at seniors (usually 55 years and over) are intended for seniors who do not Read more…

A good role model can last for life

It’s always hard for me to recover from Thanksgiving — the roast turkey, our special sourdough stuffing, the ooey-gooey sweet yam dish, and the calorie-laden pumpkin pie. The combination of extra poundage and the lagging effects of tryptophan make it oh-so-difficult to extricate myself from the couch. If it weren’t for my four-year-old daughter, I Read more…

Seniors housing options can be complicated

Understanding seniors’ housing options is pretty complicated stuff. From all the clients I work with, it is by far the most complex issue we deal with. Last week we introduced the idea of how to assess the type of housing best for you or your loved one.x. I actually want to take a step back Read more…

If you need solutions, you’d better get to work

“Are you part of the solution or just ALL of the problem?” My mother’s spin on an African proverb packed the same punch around our household and quickly shut down any whining and complaining. It’s easy to spot the problems. Solutions, on the other, require us to work (usually harder than we want to!). Busy Read more…

Following advice not magic bullet

The past few columns have dealt with the sticky topic of opening up the lines of communications with aging loved ones about future care and what role family members play in providing support and care. “So now what, Wendy?” This is exactly what a family friend, Mary, asked over the phone last week. She confided Read more…

Aging parents mean balancing act

Two weeks ago, we spoke about accepting a right to live at risk as it relates to our aging loved ones while continuing to give support and care for them. Many caregivers can feel they are doing everything in their power to provide the best care and circumstances for their aging parents or spouse. When Read more…

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“You are amazing! What I tried to do in 2 months, you did in 1 week. You’ve helped us navigate the system, made sense of Mom’s disease, and gave back her independence and control. Thank you for making such a difference in Mom’s life and giving us, her family, complete peace of mind.”

– Mike G., Nanaimo, BC

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