Not a Caregiver?

Often we don't think of ourselves as "caregivers". We are husbands, wives, or adult children who are taking care of older family members. When you start taking on tasks that this person used to be able to do for themselves, you have become a caregiver.


Aging is a Family Affair

Caregiving is a partnership between adult children and their aging parents. This partnership works when both are informed and involved. Denial is never an effective strategy.
My mother was never a burden to me but her dementia, caused by a series of small strokes, became a burden for both of us. The reality is that as we age we will need increasing support from a family member or friend. Suddenly we can become more dependent on others than we hoped to be.
We thought we were prepared. Mom’s legal and financial affairs were in order. As it turned out we had no idea what we would need to know.
Most of what I learned over the last 7 years, I learned in a crisis and often too late to help my mom.

Can you answer the following questions?
  1. Other than a family doctor, where can you go to have a senior’s mental/physical needs assessed?
  2. What non-profit organizations in Winnipeg help seniors and their caregivers?
  3. What is the difference between assisted living, supportive living and a personal care home?
  4. Where to get a list of available housing options in Winnipeg?
  5. What is the paneling process?
  6. How long is the wait for appropriate housing?
  7. How to get home care?
  8. What services are available to help with shopping, transportation, meals, companionship etc?
  9. What is a health care directive? A medical proxy? A patient advocate?
  10. How to get respite?
  11. Who could advise you if your parent is hospital?
  12. What is an enduring power of attorney?
  13. What financial plans should you make to avoid probate?
  14. What tax deductions provide economic benefits to caregivers and those they care for?
  15. What is the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit?

You can find answers in two excellent guides published by the Manitoba Government.
Seniors and their adult children should read these guides. Remember, it's a family affair.

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