Caregivers in distress: More respite needed in BC

I’ve had the honour of hearing Isobel Mackenzie, our Seniors Advocate for the Province of British Columbia speak on seniors’ issues. Isobel weaves the personal stories she hears from seniors and families to bring life to the gaps in subsidized supports and programs needed to not only keep seniors living as independent as possible but Read more…

What does caregiver respite look like?

This quote by Silver Donald Cameron captures the incredibly vital yet unrecognized role of family caregivers: “If Canada’s health-care system were a plant, family caregivers would be its roots—fragile, vital and invisible. The part we see—branches, leaves and flowers—is the apparatus of doctors, nurses, clinics, labs and hospitals. But the “visible” health-care system has always Read more…

What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?

A lot of caregivers ask me, “What’s the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?” Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to the many different types of dementia.  Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for approximately 64% of all cases in Canada.  Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, Pick’s Disease, Read more…

Understanding loss – and how seniors cope with loss

I consider it a daily gift to work with people in later life; to hear about their unique footprint on earth, to celebrate their personal victories, to share in their losses and to find a way forward that brings continued meaning, purpose and independence. In particular, the experience of loss as we age can cause Read more…

It’s OK to be a reluctant caregiver

I was speaking to my friend, Robert, who I would describe as a “reluctant caregiver” and I was struck by the internal struggle he faces with his aging parents. It is clear there is a long history of conflict and hurt between him and his father. There isn’t much affection between them and his visits Read more…

Preventing dehydration and other heat-related issues in senior

Summer is back, in all its glory. For some it also means an onslaught of heat-related issues, especially for seniors. Lethargy, dehydration, poorer sleeping patterns — just to name a few. We tend to take our body’s ability to regulate itself during hot days for granted, and forget that as we age, we are at Read more…

5 tips to minimize family conflict while caring for an aging loved one

  In my last column, I discussed the common pitfalls of family dynamics and conflict. How can we “share the care” without creating unnecessary conflict? It all comes down to family members being able to make key decisions together; reaching consensus on dividing the caregiving tasks and how well they work as a team. Here Read more…

Hot-button triggers of family conflict among caregivers

In my business, the services we provide affect both the aging person and their family members. Conflict between adult children and their parents if probably the most common situation we come across. Children typically feel Mom and Dad need more help. Mom or Dad, on the other hand, disagree and are willing to take numerous Read more…

Effective Communication Tips for Caregivers

Family caregivers often struggle with not knowing how to speak up and get their message across to key people involved with the person they are caring for. Being assertive with effective communication skills is all about knowing what you want to say at the right time to the right person. We’ve all had those days Read more…

Work & Care: A Balancing Act

As part of my consulting work with non-profit organizations, I am currently working on a provincial program for family caregivers in BC.  I was featured as a speaker for a Work & Care video as part of Carers Canada in April 2015.  You can learn more about important tips and strategies for being a caregiver Read more…

Helpful Videos

Watch for the Signs

Caregiver Consultations: How We Help Frail Elderly Parents

Long Distance Caregiving

“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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