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home health care

Medications are a mainstay for managing chronic diseases, yet Canada is the only country in the world with a universal healthcare plan that does not include pharmacare for all its citizens. If you are not fortunate enough to have a benefits plan through your employer, drug costs are a significant barrier to best practice care for chronic disease. Demographics are such that drug plans are becoming increasingly expensive and, as costs go up, businesses are forced to make trade-offs that impact covered employees.
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.
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.
My wife Karen was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. We want to help but Karen gets frustrated when any of us try to do things for her, with the kids or around the house. I don't know how to be strong as the best husband, caregiver, and deal with my own fears about what's happening. Can anyone be a 'super caregiver'?
Todd asks: My parents are getting older and recently, mom has become afraid of falling. She often talks about friends who have taken a spill, and whenever they come over she tells me we should have a railing for our front steps. She's even avoiding rooms where our kids' toys are on the floor. Neither one of them have had a fall -- how worried should we be about this?
Rebecca asks: My grandmother is getting older and was recently diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's Disease. She is still very healthy and independently living on her own. We have talked about her desire to remain at home and independent for as long as she can. How can we keep her safe in her home?
My mom's health has been deteriorating greatly over the past year. As an only child, I am her primary caregiver and this last hospital stay has really taken a toll on me. She gets very limited formal help and the rest of her care is left to me. I am so tired and can't concentrate on anything any more.
"How do I care for my dad as his physical health deteriorates? His Parkinson's is advancing and he needs more and more help. I feel unprepared and anxious, but I want to be able to care for him as long as possible."