Caregiving: The Heart of the Matter

Caregiving is a hot topic these days. More and more Canadians fall into the Sandwich Generation, caught between children, grandchildren and aging parents.  Freedom 55 becomes advertising rather than a possibility.
Caregiving is not optional.  A medical crisis occurs, and overnight you’ve been drafted.  You will quickly discover that services are not coordinated. Your parents’ physicians are likely just as much in the dark as you are about available community supports. Statistics Canada tells us that you will likely be your parents'
advocate for at least 5 years. You are now an “informal caregiver”. Welcome to the club. We provide 80% of support given to aging Canadians.
“There are only four kinds of people in the world; those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers; those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.” Rosalyn Carter
What should you expect?

  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Expect frustration with the systems you encounter because there is minimal integration of services.
The Special Senate Committee Report on aging confirms this. "Caregivers need to know not just what supports their parents are eligible for, how to apply and what forms to fill out, but also how to navigate through the system and what to do when things go wrong. They need to know what to do, what to expect and what the limits are."
  • Expect resistance.
  • Expect discomfort. You will be confronted with the reality of aging.
  • Expect stress. Family relationships may be strained. When it’s family it’s emotional, personal and difficult.
Caregiver workshops provide:

  • Tools  to manage the tasks
  • Resources to provide practical information
  • Strategies  to save time
  • Connections to other caregivers
 “You’ll be faced with plenty of difficult decisions at all the wrong times in your life.” Caroline Tapp-McDougall, The Complete Canadian Caregivers Guide to Eldercare, p.12

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