Category filter: Family Issues & Dynamics

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…

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…

3 easy ways for seniors to stay connected with family

As I write this column, I am getting ready to accompany my daughter’s Grade 2/3 class to Stevenson Place. The children are conducting mini-interviews with some of the seniors and we’ll be bringing a little extra good cheer in the form of singing. With the magical sprinkling of snow out there, there is no doubt Read more…

Coping with a difficult aging parent – a book review

  I’m reading a book called Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent by Grace Lebow & Barbara Kane. First off, Mom, if you happen to have found a way to read my columns on your iPad, I’m not reading this book because of you… A very common statement we hear from clients (be it the Read more…

Tips for engaging elderly loved ones during the holidays

  There is an undeniable excitement in the air at the Johnstone-Ram household. It starts first thing in the morning when my six-year-old, upon waking, flies to the living room with two things on her mind. One is the Lego Advent Calendar, which shamelessly I purchased primarily for my inner child. My daughter picked up Read more…

There’s nothing wrong with new holiday traditions

I was in a little gift shop on Fifth Street this weekend and, as I am often noted for, was speaking out loud to no one in particular and said, “Wow, this holiday season has really snuck up on me this year.” In a shocking turn of events, someone actually answered, “I wish I could Read more…

Tips for avoiding sibling rivalry when caring for aging parents

I’m delighted to have Frances Ferguson, a registered clinical counsellor in the Comox Valley, offer strategies for siblings to work together in caring for aging parents. Frances brings over 15 years of experience helping individuals and couples to solve problems and make decisions, improve communication and set and reach personal goals. Fifteen years ago, Cheryl, Read more…

Sharing the care: Tips for siblings caring for aging relatives

  I have a wonderful brother. Mind you, he wasn’t always wonderful. In fact, I didn’t put him in the “wonderful” category until he was married and had a few kids under his belt. Up until that time and depending on the circumstances, he was either in the “awful,” “overprotective” or “suspiciously being kind for Read more…

Tips for discussing eldercare with aging parents

  My Mom’s birthday is coming up next month and I’ve realized she’s a year shy of turning 70 years old. It actually alarmed me for the very reason I cause alarm to my friends and clients when I spout off, “If your parents are 70 and over, you need to start talking about future Read more…

How to deal with losses that come with aging

My grandmother was a voracious reader. She was equally a discerning reader as she was an avid Harlequin Romance fan; just so long as she could enjoy a good book. She was in her late 80s when cataracts made it next to impossible to read. She went to large print until she couldn’t read the Read more…

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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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