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,…

De-institutionalization of mental illness a costly mistake

Governments reneged on their promise to implement new, community-based treatment programs for the mentally ill

De-institutionalization of mental illness a costly mistakeIt used to be that individuals with serious mental illnesses were sent to live in institutions for extended periods and often their entire lives. Since there were few effective treatments, most patients would be sedated or physically restrained to control disordered behaviour. This environment was the norm for mental health patients who were completely separated…

The stigma of mental illness

If you think you suffer from a mental illness, resist succumbing to stigma and ask your doctor about getting treatment

The stigma of mental illnessGetting treatment for a mental illness is often a lot more difficult than simply calling up your doctor and making an appointment. For many people it involves a painful process of accepting that they have a problem and being willing to expose themselves. Many people who come to be treated for the first time say…

Pulling the plug on anger before it ignites real trouble

Learn how to express your feelings in more productive ways and keep an explosive temper from hijacking your life

Pulling the plug on anger before it ignites real troubleAnger doesn't have to hijack your life. Anger is a natural emotion that helps protect us from real (or imagined) attacks against our physical or emotional well-being. When used appropriately, anger can motivate us to achieve goals we would otherwise be too afraid or lazy to pursue. In this way, anger may not be a big…

Tips to unravelling the complicated language of disability insurance

Whether you are covered or not is really not up to your doctor

Tips to unravelling the complicated language of disability insuranceA lot of people come to me hoping I can help them in their attempt to leave an unsatisfying work situation and receive disability insurance because of the stress or depression their job is causing. Unfortunately, disability insurance is not as straight forward as is sometimes thought and is intended only for fairly specific reasons…

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…

Brain stimulation used to treat depression, but without the side effects

New treatments show promise and further our understanding of the disease – without the nasty baggage of side effects

Brain stimulation used to treat depression, but without the side effectsIt's no secret that depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. But medical science is making headway in treating this serious, chronic condition. Several effective treatments are available but they don’t work for everyone all the time. And the medications can cause troubling side effects. As well, many people remain chronically depressed in spite of…

Brain stimulation used to treat depression, but without the side effects

New treatments show promise and further our understanding of the disease – without the nasty baggage of side effects

Brain stimulation used to treat depression, but without the side effectsIt's no secret that depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. But medical science is making headway in treating this serious, chronic condition. Several effective treatments are available but they don’t work for everyone all the time. And the medications can cause troubling side effects. As well, many people remain chronically depressed in spite of…

The right psychiatric care depends on proper diagnosis

Identifying the disorder and acting appropriately can be difficult when symptoms overlap

The right psychiatric care depends on proper diagnosisWhen psychiatric symptoms overlap, making the right diagnosis and determining the best course of care can be difficult. But careful observation of the patient over time can help bring clarity to medical professionals. In medicine, many names for different conditions sound very similar and this can be confusing. One of the more confusing and even…

What can we learn from one another today?

Each of us is worthy of dignity and respect. The more we embrace this truth about ourselves, the more we can see it in our neighbours.

What can we learn from one another today?In his book Horton Hears A Who, Dr. Seuss reminds us, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Being mindful of this is one of the keys to finding joy and fulfilment in life. Everyone we meet, above all else, is a person. Each of us is worthy of dignity and respect. The more…

Blood/injection/injury phobias easy to treat

It is important to face one’s fears in order to get over them

Blood/injection/injury phobias easy to treatAlmost everyone has a friend or family member who claims to faint whenever they need to get a vaccination or to have a blood sample taken. Sometimes these individuals are seen as overly squeamish about something that really isn’t very serious. In reality, a lot of people suffer from a phobia of blood, injections and…

Money can’t buy happiness, yet we keep chasing it

Will more money mean we sleep better at night, spend more time with friends and family, or contribute more to society?

Money can’t buy happiness, yet we keep chasing itThere’s a story told that about a financial planner who was on holidays in Mexico. He was walking along the beach when he came to a fisherman sitting on a wharf, his feet hanging off the edge as he played guitar. “Is that your boat?” the planner asked the fisherman. “It is,” he replied. They…

Compassion and acceptance pave the way for a better life

But before we find compassion for others, we need firm personal boundaries and strong self-respect

Compassion and acceptance pave the way for a better lifeCompassionate people are happy people, and compassionate people understand that everyone is simply doing their best. They acknowledge there are those who do rotten things to each other, but we have no idea of the internal torment these individuals struggle with. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t have rules in our society or that…

Making your brain hurt helps you thrive

Use mental or physical challenges to strengthen your brain and improve your quality of life as you age

Making your brain hurt helps you thriveFirst Nations leaders face enormous challenges in dealing with the economic well-being of their people. They also must try to preserve the history and values of relatively small islands of First Nation people in the huge sea of the dominant North American culture and the English language. Take the example of a bright young Squamish…

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.…
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