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Practical Insights for Busy Caregivers

4 insights from experienced caregivers


October 15, 2018, by Paul Cavanagh,

Learning how to be a family caregiver isn’t easy. There’s plenty of advice out there, but not all of it is helpful. Often the best thing to do is to sit down with people who’ve been through the experience themselves. Chances are the insights they share will shed new light on your own situation, even if their circumstances are somewhat different.
But what if you don’t happen to know another family caregiver? Or maybe you do, but you’re reluctant to approach them. Well, we’ve made it easy for you. We sat down with four seasoned caregivers and asked them to talk about their experiences. From those conversations, we picked out highlights that we thought most eloquently spoke to challenges many of us face when looking after someone we love.


A now-retired health care manager, Eileen Cunningham looked after her partner, Michael, while he received treatment for liver cancer and then a liver transplant. He died in June 2015. She talks about the importance of finding a service provider who is willing to act as a point person to help you stay informed about what’s going on with your relative.

More caregivers discuss encounters with health care providers and the health care system



Madeleine Roske is a retired public health nurse whose husband, Arno, is living with dementia. She talks about the difficult time before Arno was diagnosed and how things actually improved afterwards. She also has an interesting take on stigma.

More caregivers talk about looking after someone with dementia



Cheryl is an only child with an infant daughter of her own. She did her best to help her mother through a mental health crisis while living in another town. She talks about the challenge of playing multiple roles and knowing what approach to take with her mom when.

More caregivers talk about adjusting to changes in family relationships



Gord Schacter is a family physician and clinical lead for primary care in London-Middlesex. He also has experience as a family caregiver. He talks about how many patients and caregivers assume that family physicians have a comprehensive knowledge of community resources and how valuable can be for finding the right service.

More caregivers talk about help in the community