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 www.caregivershow.ca
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?