Don’t forget the Caregivers looking after Dementia Family Members

So with Federal Government’s recent budget proposals re Home Accessibility Tax credit (proposed 15-per-cent non-refundable income tax credit would apply on up to $10,000 of eligible home renovation expenditures per year) & Compassionate Care Benefits (providing financial assistance to people who have to be away from work temporarily to care for a family member who is gravely ill and at significant risk of death), are caregivers going to better supported? 

Last Fall, I went back to the UK to give my brother & his family respite to look after my elderly & confused mother. It was only 2 weeks while they went on holiday. Of course, I thought I knew it all when I came to stay. Didn’t I work in Community Care? I help my client’s & families with all the resources available to Dementia Care? So no big deal if I go down & give them a break ? The other side of the looking glass is very different… no sleep, exhausted & with aching back, I returned, mentally & physically exhausted.

The emphasis  Provincial &  Federal Budgets is to keep the client at home for as long as possible. With this push, it still falls on the family member to pick up the slack.

I read Mark Stolow’s blog on the lack of caregiver self-recognition in Dementia Care, the myths & expectations  that society places on them. (Mark Stolow is the President of The Caregiver Network. He co-founded the organization in 2004 and has helped to grow it into the largest tele-learning Network in Canada in support of family caregivers)

He discusses how “we make it nearly impossible for family members to say “no” to caregiving or set healthy boundaries while caregiving. Guilt is a common caregiver emotion and there’s no greater guilt engine then the feeling that if you ask for help that somehow you are either ill equipped or unwilling to fulfill your filial mission. “ The system that ‘that surrounds caregivers also fails to see them as caregivers, and thus fails to adequately acknowledge and support them.’

Another Dementia expert is Teepa Snow.

Teepa Snow is considered one of America’s leading educators on dementia. A registered occupational therapist for more than 30 years, her philosophy reflects her education, work experience, available medical research and her first-hand care giving interactions. Her early days as a caregiver were spent taking care of her grandfather who had vascular dementia. She realized she was a good caregiver and went to college and then began working with people with dementia, and has picked up more skills along the way, which she now passes on to others.

The Caregiver Show, coming up Saturday, May 30, at Centennial College in Scarborough. The Caregiver Show will be inside the Athletics Wellness Centre at Centennial College’s Progress Campus, 941 Progress Ave., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit 

So what are your thoughts on the Dementia caregiver prospective? Have you had to look after a loved one & seen through the other side of the looking glass?



Looking for information about sleep? Check out:

Sleep Resources for Persons with Dementia

This website is designed by researchers from the Sleep and Function Interdisciplinary Group (SAFIG), Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.

The goal is to help family members understand:

  • Why restorative sleep is important when someone has dementia
  • How simple things can cause big sleep problems for someone with dementia
  • What you can do to help someone with dementia have better sleep
  • Who you can go to for help

Find out more at:

ONLINE REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR CAOT 2015 Conference in Winnipeg is May 11 2015.

Join us in Winnipeg to share your knowledge and strategies for rising to the challenge of enhancing occupational justice in our communities.

Key events:
– Keynote speaker: Dr. Clare Hocking
– Plenary Speaker: Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
– Muriel Driver Memorial Lecturer: Dr. Bonnie Kirsh
-Gala Event at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
-COTF Lunch with a Scholar- Jacquie Ripat
– and so much more.