Care for the caregiver – Everyday we struggle with the realities of life. Sometimes it’s easy to get support and talk about it, other times not. Stressful times are often those times when communication is at it’s worst yet it’s critical to make decisions.

More than one in four Canadians reported providing care to a family member or friend with a chronic illness, disability or aging needs over the past year. These caregivers were most often caring for a parent. 

Age-related needs and cancer were the most common reasons for providing care. Among the top activities performed by caregivers were providing transportation, doing housework and maintaining the house or outdoor work.

Statistics Canada – Portrait of caregivers, 2012

If any of the points below sound familiar to you, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. According to the stats above Over 8 million Canadians provide care to a chronically ill or disabled friend or loved one and that was  only up to 2012.

  • My child/spouse/parent has been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness but we can’t seem to talk about it.
  • I think that Mom needs extra care but my Dad and my brother won’t listen to me.
  • I’ve been a caregiver for long enough, I need help!
  • Our son has been diagnosed with autism but my wife and I disagree on how to support him.

 

Taking on the responsibility of a family caregiver often means balancing competing demands in your life, such as working, raising children, caring for parents and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. You may feel isolated, drained and under appreciated.

As a society we know that caregiving is associated with increased family conflict and stress.

As a family mediator I can help your family make these difficult conversations a little easier. Mediation will ensure that each person has a voice, that information and knowledge is shared and decisions are made. Mediation is about focusing on the future and taking action.

During the mediation process we will get the issues on the table, discuss solutions and create a Care Plan. Often times this plan will set out schedules, costs and will include ‘homework’ such as gathering more information from local professionals and/or support organizations.

I understand that these conversations are the hardest to face and that not everybody will want to talk about it or deal with it the same way. The reality is that these conversations have to happen – things are going to change whether you are ready for them or not.

You don’t have to go through this alone.