Meet Henry. Like many Canadians in their 50s, Henry is a caregiver.
His 85-year-old mother, Louise, was recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. She lives alone in the same rural town she’s called home for the past sixty years. Louise relies on Henry for help with running errands, paying bills and a coordinating doctor’s appointments.
Does this story sound familiar? That’s because there are more than one million caregivers in British Columbia. A caregiver is someone who provides physical and/or emotional care to a family member, partner, friend or neighbour.
Recently, Henry has been struggling to keep up with the demands of juggling his job and caring for his mom. He’s also worried about her independence and safety as her dementia progresses.
Help is available
Henry reached out to the free caregiver support line offered by Family Caregivers BC. He was able to get help understanding the options available to him and his mother. He also got support to bring his siblings together to discuss a plan for their mother’s future care. As a family, they decided that one of Louise’s granddaughters, Eleanor, would move in with her and provide care. Eleanor has joined the caregiver coaching program to help her understand resources available and to make a personal plan for herself while supporting her aunt.
If you or some you know is like Henry, Louise or Eleanor, let them know there are free services and resources to help them on their journey as caregivers.