Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate support

Individuals with developmental disabilities live longer than ever and that means the responsibility for care is shifting to siblings

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate supportA combination of better medical care and good lives in the community mean longer life expectancies for individuals with a developmental disability. That’s good news. But many are outliving their parents, who have taken care of them over their lifetimes. Once parents are no longer able to provide the same level of support or care,…

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teams

Wards are staffed based on caring for a sick but otherwise self-sufficient patient population. The reality is patients need family caregivers in the hospital

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teamsFamily care is a key part of hospital care, so let's start talking about it that way. When a loved one is admitted to hospital, family caregivers want to offer comfort and support at the bedside. But in order to perform their healing role, they need to be recognized as key members of the hospital…

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricane

In Atlantic Canada, the moment you think you have everything nailed down, a Category 2 storm decides to pop in

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricaneA word to the wise: A daily five-km fast walk and a nightly 15-minute endurance routine on a floor mat doesn’t prepare a 50-something body for a sudden dismount from a handstand – especially if said body lands on its tippy toes, like Baryshnikov on a really, really bad morning. “Crunch!” was the sound heard…

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both ends

When a dollar earned triggers higher taxes and simultaneously reduces benefits, what’s left to spend or save?

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both endsA look at effective tax rates across provinces shows that many low-income families in Canada take home 40 cents or less on the additional dollars they earn. The marginal effective tax rate – which accounts for how much you pay in additional income taxes and lose in federal and provincial transfer benefits when you earn…

Canada a warmth of caring in the frozen north

Canadians tend to see caring as just the stuff of everyday life – ordinary people doing what comes naturally

Canada a warmth of caring in the frozen northThere’s much to celebrate in Canada. Our country’s natural beauty and abundant resources give us many reasons for gratitude and celebration. But there’s an invisible resource that underpins our collective prosperity that deserves special mention: the caring people of Canada. Every day, their natural caring actions touch almost every one of us. According to the…

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failure

Sharing our struggles with staff and family, and explaining the financial situation to suppliers may be humbling, but it relieves the weight of our shame

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failureWe all feel shame some time. Usually we feel this powerful emotion when we do something that doesn’t quite match up with our personal values. As a child, we might have felt shameful if we told a lie to our parents or were mean to a friend. As a teenager, we might have felt the…

Why Canada needs a plan to address dementia and Alzheimer’s

There is no magic bullet, but a national action plan can improve care and quality of life

Why Canada needs a plan to address dementia and Alzheimer’sBy Howard Feldman University of British Columbia and Carole Estabrooks University of Alberta Canada needs a national action plan to address dementia and Alzheimer’s. One of the biggest threats to quality of life and health in aging is the loss of cognitive abilities and autonomy associated with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Today, 750,000 Canadians live with dementia and…

Coping with the family burdens related to caregiving

Our Family Ties column examines the issues of caregiving in Canadian society, and what we can do to alleviate some of the burden

Coping with the family burdens related to caregivingAn aging Canadian population and smaller families, combined with reduced health and social care budgets, mean the challenges of providing care to seniors will only worsen. Legions of families are buckling under the emotional, physical and fiscal burdens of caregiving. These pressures will be exacerbated by growing numbers of people living with demanding health challenges such…

Improving the lives of seniors – and their families

Robyn Pearson of A Friend Indeed talks about how her service fills a vital gap for multi-generational families

Improving the lives of seniors – and their familiesRobyn Pearson is owner of A Friend Indeed. What is A Friend Indeed and what does it do? Pearson: A Friend Indeed is an invaluable resource to the family caregiver that specializes in uplifting the social and emotional quality of life for their elderly loved one through activities and outings. Too often the bulk of…

Are you an argumentative communicator?

How to make your point without alienating, angering or humiliating your audience

Are you an argumentative communicator?It’s that time of year when a lot of us take holidays with family and friends. As much as we enjoy getting together, conversations can be a bit prickly and leave loved ones feeling less supported than we might want. So we need some strategies for reducing potential misunderstandings when confronted with the argumentative communicator.…

Caregivers play a central role in their loved one’s health

Family caregivers and professional providers must work together to achieve well-being for people with chronic and complex diseases

Caregivers play a central role in their loved one’s healthAchieving health and well-being is never a solo act. Throughout our lifetime, the people who are closest to us – our family and friends – are the greatest influence on our health. As we are on theirs. This is interdependence. Far too often when the professional care system is involved, recognition of interdependence falls by the wayside.…

Investing in family and faith to minimize social isolation

Too many of us struggle with being disconnected. New studies show that social institutions help lower loneliness

Investing in family and faith to minimize social isolationSocial isolation and loneliness are among the most important challenges of our times, and governments alone can’t fix them. Frankly, these problems are too big for the politicians. Consider some basic findings from a new Angus Reid Institute study, conducted in partnership with Cardus: Almost one-quarter of Canadians struggle with extreme social isolation and loneliness.…

Pushing back on the shame over addiction

Vanisha Breault of the Terminator Foundation talks about facing and overcoming the growing pandemic of addictions

Pushing back on the shame over addictionVanisha Breault is founder and executive director of the Terminator Foundation. What is the Terminator Foundation and what does it do? Breault: The Terminator Foundation is a collaboration of integrated health-care systems that support youth and young adults in their effort to recover from addiction and mental health issues. Our goal is to strengthen recovery…

Have babies, because people are not just economic units

Children bind, deepen a commitment and give purpose. Love is the point, the key ingredient

Have babies, because people are not just economic unitsThe title ‘philosopher,’ like ‘poet,’ carries prestige that’s usually unearned. I say unearned because many poets, who are supposed to understand beauty, write beauty-free verse, and plenty of philosophers, who are supposed to be wise, counsel unethical foolishness to the world. This sad fact – that so much contemporary philosophy is not merely unwise but…

A caregiver’s perspective: Do you see what I see?

No professional care provider can see what we see – what was, what is and what can be for our family members and friends

A caregiver’s perspective: Do you see what I see?The term visionary is rarely used to describe natural caregivers. Yet vision is indispensable when we take care. No professional care provider, no matter how trained or prepared, can see what we see – what was, what is and what can be for our family members and friends. Visionaries make the truth visible. Caregiving requires…
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