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Is this really my mother? She's walking around in circles, yelling and cursing about people "breaking into her house." This exhausted, disheveled woman with fear in her eyes and venom in her voice is a nightmare vision, a grotesquely distorted version of my mom. This is life with an Alzheimer's victim.
What caregivers need are accessible services for the person they are caring for, when they need them. Caregivers have told me they want access to services for themselves and the care recipient, not a pat on the back. This is the true meaning of recognition.
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My wife Evva of 17 years and I live a quiet, beautiful life in Sechelt, British Columbia. We enjoy walking our dog and manage the local women and men's clothing stores. Six years ago, however, our lives changed forever. I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, an incurable form of blood cancer.
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Caregiving is an extremely demanding role -- it can drain you physically, mentally, emotionally, and even socially. Of course, due to most circumstances, caregiving is extremely challenging and although each case is unique, there are some key stages in which every caregiver experiences.
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It's a lot to take on, and it's a difficult workload to maintain. Ultimately the caregiver has to make sacrifices in some area of their life, and it's usually their own emotional, physical or mental well-being that suffers the consequences. Sound familiar? Probably.
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I often get asked whether one has to cover sick days for personal caregivers or nannies. I usually have the same response: it depends. What did you agree to when she first started working? This is a difficult topic, but it is important to think about it at the outset of the relationship.
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If you are currently transitioning from a full-time career to a full-time career and caregiving, you know how challenging it can be. Finding the right balance can seem near impossible, which leads to overwhelming levels of stress and concern. Family is priority but what about your career? The number of unpaid caregivers in Canada continues to rise, as more and more family members require care. As a caregiver, you know that your duties are a full-time role in itself.
It's always a good time to honor and recognize the spouses, family members and friends who dedicate countless hours to caring for their loved ones. North America is home to millions of family caregivers. On top of having tremendous fortitude, they're an interesting bunch. Check out our list below for some fascinating facts about caregivers.
You may need personalized care, yet all of the options are far too expensive from what you've heard. It is time to explore your options, maintaining your independence and your bank account. You deserve a comfortable retirement.
I've been reflecting on the fun experiences my family and friends had this summer. My thoughts inevitably also turn to those with new health challenges and disabilities, and their caregivers, the people who are supporting them. I've learned that there are many wonderful opportunities to get out and create lasting happy memories, participate in things that bring joy, and still manage the care.
This week, Kerry asks: My sister was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and she is refusing to accept any help from her family, friends or health care professionals. When I try to talk to her about it, we always end up in an argument. Do you have any advice?
Vicky asks: I've been taking care of my mom who is 74, in poor health and lives on her own. We've never had a very close relationship, and she criticizes everything I do. It doesn't matter if it's house cleaning, taking her to appointments, or getting her groceries -- it's like I can never do anything to her satisfaction.
My four-year-old daughter is having surgery soon, and I'm a nervous wreck. Her doctors have assured me that she will be fine, but I'm worried about her getting put out, and especially worried about helping her recover at home after leaving the hospital...help!
Kay asks: My husband has dementia and the symptoms are getting so bad that I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I am embarrassed to take him to our daughter's house for fear of what he might do or say. I don't want our kids or grandkids to see him act this way. I am not prepared for these changes and I don't know if I can manage for much longer.