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Life is never the same after a stroke

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in Canada, with 6,500 strokes occurring in B.C. every year. Whether you’ve had a stroke or know someone recovering from stroke, it becomes quickly apparent that life will never be the same. After my dad had his stroke, he couldn’t practise law again. He wasn’t able to Read more…

7 Steps to Stroke Recovery

7 Steps to Stroke Recovery The Stroke Recovery Association of BC is a provincial nonprofit organization, whose mission is to help stroke survivors and family caregivers post-stroke. The NEW “7 Steps to Stroke Recovery” video provides 7 ways for long term recovery. To ensure you don’t miss a segment, subscribe to their newsletter at strokerecoverybc.ca. Read more…

Unique book offers a refreshing look at early onset Alzheimer’s Disease

A big thank you to Evelyn Gillespie from Laughing Oyster Bookshop for generously giving me a copy of the book, “Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, my Mother and Me” by Sarah Leavitt. The unconventional comic format of the book, I think, is its greatest asset. It takes a very difficult topic to digest and breaks Read more…

Eldercare: Caregiving from a distance

It’s hard to believe our family is a week away from a mini-holiday getaway. That’s right, it’s summertime in the Comox Valley. For my business, it’s often a time when long distance family members make the trek up to the Island to spend time with their aging loved ones. In fact, 22 per cent of Read more…

Why do we need an enduring power of attorney or a representation agreement?

  A BC lawyer explains . . . Thank you to Sasha Nowicki, a lawyer with Swift Datoo Law Corporation, for taking the time to provide her expertise and knowledge to help us understand these two important documents. Most people are familiar with the concept of a Power of Attorney. It’s a legal document you Read more…

Questions to ask yourself when considering future eldercare planning

In my line of work as a private geriatric case manager, there are few days that go by where I’m not reminded of the consequences of “not having one’s affairs in order.” In my last column, I spoke first-hand about my family’s personal experience with having to make difficult end-of-life decisions when my Dad was Read more…

Giving yourself permission to grieve a loss

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 my “goodbye” many years before her death. I remember grieving most when her dementia was progressing and Read more…

Get your affairs in order

It’s highly plausible that some readers assume I’m extremely well organized and that every file in my house has a home. If my husband is reading this, he’ll be laughing out loud. Anyone who works with me will also have a smirk on their face. Theoretically, I fully understand the importance of filing and keeping Read more…

Where there’s a will there’s a way: The importance of a written will and advance care planning

  All of us know the expression, “Where there is a will, there is a way” and perhaps we’ve even used it when we want to motivate someone, (maybe ourselves), that with determination achieving something or anything is possible. As I thought about a topic for this week’s column, it struck me that the same Read more…

The four Ps of productive adult family meetings

  Growing up with three siblings made for unique and highly entertaining family meetings. Given my Dad, the late Greg Johnstone was a criminal lawyer, these meetings were often coined the Johnstone judiciary proceedings. The most common crime in the Johnstone household: stealing food. In his own way, Judge Greg provided our family with a Read more…

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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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