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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…

Answering the question: “What’s next?”

I have a client that absolutely keeps me on my toes. And I love it! Her favourite question is, “So now what, Wendy?” It usually happens after she confides in me about one of challenges she faces as an adult child caring for her father. Her most recent eldercare issue was the last conversation she Read more…

Helping children understand death

I think it’s safe to say, “Death isn’t easy to deal with at any age.” So how do you explain it to your three-year-old? How do you comfort your eight-year-old when their grandparent dies? How comfortable are you with the whole concept of death? What are you beliefs regarding after-life, if any? How do you Read more…

How to prepare for successful doctor visits with the person you are caring for

When my mother had stomach cancer, I flew back to Toronto to give my siblings a reprieve and support my mom post-surgery. The procedure to remove her tumour was long and very painful. Post-discharge, my mom experienced severe stomach pains, difficulty sleeping and digestive problems.  Heavily medicated (not me, her!) to reduce the pain, I 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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