[0:09] Looking for support and Direction best selling author educator and expert in Senior Living Amy Friesen is here with the help you need while providing you with an important and valuable support,
so now please welcome the host of Artful aging Amy Friesen.
[0:34] Hello everyone I'm Amy Friesen and this is Artful aging with Amy and we're live on Bold Brave TV on our show today we are taking a look at the sandwich generation
and what it is to really care for both your senior parents as well as your children at the same time while also trying to care for yourself.
It's definitely a tricky scenario many caregivers I speak with feel exhausted.
Pulled in too many directions and most would love the opportunity to be able to concentrate on themselves for a bit,
however if you are a caregiver you know that caregiving for yourself is always the challenge and.
[1:15] On your end and sometimes resentment from the loved one that you are caring for I shared with you on another episode that I have a four-year-old who I'm caring for who requires a lot of attention.
And just recently my grandma's house changed and I've been helping my parents navigate the entire system as well.
And although it's not me being in the sandwich generation specifically it is a glimpse into trying to manage both.
[1:39] My guest today is Sarah McEwen who is a life coach as well as a caregiver she has taken care of both her dad who was palliative as well as her mom who has Alzheimer's and at also caring for her in-laws who is
she has to give a lot of mental space to as well additionally she also has two small children.
[1:58] Hi Sarah shares hi exam how are you I'm here.
A lot about her caregiving Journey on her Facebook page which is how we actually got linked together and that page is on,
Artful aging with a me.com if you'd like to have a look and in fact a lot of people when I was looking for guests for my show a lot of people reached out and said they've been following Sarah's Journey on Facebook,
and that her and I should chat so there's a lot of people following you Sarah which,
just shows you how many people are actually really interested in others Journeys right so we all know that caregiving Journey although similar.
Is unique for each person and through telling Sarah story she hopes to provide some insight into how others can keep walking their caregiving path without burning out so welcome again Sarah how are you.
I am great thank you for having me.
I'm super happy that you're here because you know what I do on our full aging is really just try to share resources and story so that people don't feel like they're so alone and I feel like even how we met through Facebook and people watching you I feel like
that's also what you're doing and just trying to say hey there's other people going through this journey you know have a look and read through some of the stuff that you know that I'm dealing with.
[3:17] Yeah well I felt a need to share I with my life coaching I share what's on topical or what's on my mind and.
Obviously once I became a caregiver it was all encompassing and as most caregivers know it's.
It becomes a huge part of your life to the point that you,
a lot of things go to the Wayside so for myself I felt like I needed to share with everyone what it's like to be a caregiver and that sandwich generation that you were talking about.
Is really a real thing like you said my children are 7 and 10 and when I started this caregiving.
[3:56] Part of caregiving Journey that I'm sorry I started they were five and almost ate so I feel like I was.
It's pulled both
both ways I didn't know which direction was what and it was a very difficult juggling period it still is a juggling period but I've learned even with just using my life coaching skills for myself I've learned how to.
[4:23] Yeah create that that balance that you need as a caregiver it's very difficult one to do just as a background so that people know my story I.
[4:35] Probably started caregiving about 3 years ago maybe a let three years ago in that my mother,
showed signs of Alzheimer's and there was clear indicators that she wasn't
cognitively functioning how she should so it started in a trickle effect with her in that she was having some difficulty with remembering things my
my father was helpful because he was still around and he was able to take on the brunt of that but I definitely did help out with appointments and things like that especially at the time my dad had a bit of an epileptic
issues we wasn't driving so I did a lot of the driving at that time but it wasn't all encompassing until I.
A few months before covid where I got a phone call from my father.
[5:30] When I was on my way to work and my dad was a very pragmatic straightforward person and I was driving into work and he told me that he has been diagnosed with kidney failure.
And he was going to be passing away within a year or so.
[5:46] And I was driving and I'm literally like pardon because I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
And he was just so very straightforward about it I think he actually was trying to make it like it's not a big deal that's.
Honestly but I think he was trying to do that we just need to get things organized so I started realizing that not only am I the trickling effect of my Mom's memory issues,
we're coming in I also is now dealing with my father palliative and.
[6:21] And we needed to get his Affairs in order and get my mom sorted and that's,
that was the start and then covid hit so that added another stress add the extra fun to it didn't it yeah it's very challenging and like so you're caring for both their parents.
You still have kids at that time so you still caring for your kids and and.
I would also like to throw in the fact that you're trying to remain gainfully employed more than anything most likely as well right like you have to its,
it's the caregiving journey and taking care of all these other pieces.
But you still have to work and you still you know earning money most most caregivers are still working I know that as caregivers are seniors more and more perhaps that is not on the plate but for.
Folks like Sarah and I were both working still and trying to balance that and I was just telling Sarah before we came on that Eva has covid this week and so we're just hanging out at home but we're still trying to balance everything right.
[7:21] So it's must be a very difficult task as well so with trying to still run your business.
[7:27] Yes and I had other Pursuits I the thing too is like this passion for life coaching with some kind of like side.
Business that I would like enjoying doing and I had to kind of go to the Wayside and any sort of fun kind,
just disappeared it was the time that I would have allotted for myself was given to my family and my parents.
[7:49] Yeah it's a previous episode I had mentioned to because we were talking about caregiving as well they're that
I don't even know what my hobbies are anymore I don't think I have any hobbies anymore and I'm trying to find Hobbies so that I'm not always,
caregiving or working caregiving are working and then sometimes sleeping the moon should strike we can we get to sleep every once in a while too although It's Tricky right so.
Just trying to show people that you know it's not just,
caregiving its caregiving and then it's all this other stuff that a lot of people don't see and just trying to balance it and how have your kids been in this journey as you taking on with your parents.
Oh there's been we there's been so many adjustments we've had well I think it's also they've seen me,
emotionally drained I come I give it all I was there was a time when I felt like I had to give all to my parents so I would do all the things all the things come home,
and just let go because it was my safe place but then the kids are getting that too so they were like the catch on yeah they catch on and they see.
[9:01] It's yeah I get that for sure it's really difficult let's let's take a break we're going to definitely continue continue the conversation but we're going to take a break here so Sarah and I will talk in a couple of minutes
you're watching Artful aging with Amy on Bold Brave TV we'll see you in a few minutes.
[9:20] Are you in your family considering Senior Living options but you're not quite sure where to start.
In my best-selling book breadcrumbs piecing together the retirement living industry you will find tips and strategies for navigating the entire Journey.
Whether you're needing help with understanding the basics or strategies to help a loved one with dementia it's all inside.
Head over to tea and toast dot c a /e book to pick up your copy today welcome back.
Did you know that according to statistics Canada one in four people in Canada provide care for a family member and of those people two-thirds were 45 years or an older,
so close to half the caregivers are caring for their parents and their parent in-laws.
This is a lot of care being done behind closed doors I would also suspect that when it comes to Personal Care many of these caregivers are figuring it out as they go
there's not much set up to teach Families how to care for the loved ones I speak with caregivers all day long and many of them are overwhelmed and tired
however there are so many other emotions under the surface that I don't think are being addressed because usually you can't see emotions so others wouldn't actually know to inquire with a caregiver about emotions
so Sarah as a caregiver do you notice that it is difficult to voice your emotions or even your concerns to others.
[10:49] For sure I think there's like two parts of it one is that there's your friends that are sort of living their life especially and I'm only speaking to what's happening to me,
in my life right now as you know we're very busy at the stage young children working all those things so a lot of my friends don't have the same experiences because they haven't gotten to that caregiving role yet and they don't even
realize how much encompasses with that and the emotions and the draining
and the very beginning I felt very alone and isolated in that feeling and I
it almost it almost became with friends particularly it was envied them so there was a lot of feeling like why is their parents okay and feeling the emotions like that that came up on the other side of
the second side of it is also just with the retirement home or nursing home
yourself so that's been my particular situation my parents ended up going to a long care facility and I felt as though the.
[11:51] Understandably relied on me because I'm there
power of attorney I'm all the things but so is like you do the duties so it felt as though there's no room no grace period at all there's just like sign this document here's what you have to do your
mom has an appointment you have to come to this and it felt like a very methodical
no place for me to just say I need a break like I didn't have the choice so I would say the very beginning it was overwhelming and extremely emotional but then I
started really working on myself and my emotions and I really I began to realize that I was also in grief,
and that I had to honor that grief because for myself I felt like they're still here so.
[12:40] It's as though I wasn't allowed to kick-start that even though it had already started.
People feel like grief is only if someone passes away or something like that right like generally in our society
generally that's kind of what grief is attached to mostly and even when I work with clients with tea and toast a lot of them don't realize it and when I say it to them they're like oh
oh I didn't think about that so you know there's again there's so many emotions but I also feel like grief specifically is not really talked about because people don't equate it with people who are living but there's a hole,
concern about you know losing you know your parents or the upcoming you know whatever is going to happen that upcoming thought and then also.
You know losing what it was before and grieving your previous life and grieving how your parents used to be.
All sorts of different things and I know in previous conversations Sarah and I discussed two types of grief that she's gotten to know up close and personal.
Many people watching don't like I said don't recognize it it may be grieving so Sarah I'm hoping by sharing insight into your grief.
And your experience you can allow others to have a look at there's can you tell us a little bit more about the grief how you know how the grief with your dad is different than the grief with your mum.
[14:05] Yeah I think
a lot of people have heard well maybe not a lot of people but there's the term anticipatory grief right and that is a term that people use often when there is an illness and it is pending
death like you were waiting for the person to pass and so with my father who I knew.
You know when we would go to doctors appointments the kidney doctors Specialists would say he proximately has,
two months and then it would go down to two weeks and it felt like pending Doom.
At the same time this anticipation of feeling like I need to spend as much time as possible with him he was still cognitively there so I felt as though we could have.
Really good conversations he was very one thing I'm blessed with is he wanted a dignified death so he was very clear about what he wanted and I felt it was one of the last things I could honor him with.
[15:02] So I felt as though it was this anticipation that something Doom is coming it's coming and it feel like.
Every step of the way was every moment every time was precious.
[15:14] With my mom I think what was interesting with my mom with Alzheimer's is that at the beginning when she got diagnosed I thought,
right away I've got that grief feeling anticipation that she's losing leaving me mentally but then as she did and she slowly.
Went away sorry like started going away it almost turned to like this life like her like disappeared.
[15:43] So it was as though there was no sudden like waiting for something it was as though the light flickered flickered.
[15:52] Sweat and it's I still look for the flickers but it's the slow slow.
[16:01] Sounds awful to say I'm just being very honest it feels it's true though yeah my mother is not no longer my mother so I do get little glimpses but I'm waiting for those.
I'm getting emotional I told you I was going to get emotional but I do try to hold it together on my end yeah yeah so for her it was a very.
It was very much like a feeling of.
[16:27] Like she left and I didn't notice I'd like I was waiting for something to happen and actually one day I felt like she was different.
[16:36] Okay well thank you for sharing I we're going to take a break as I think all of us need a Kleenex at those so.
We're going to keep talking about this after the break I know Sarah this is really difficult to share and I am so thankful that you are open to talking to.
Our audience talking to others about it because I think I hope that it will help a little bit when people are on their Journey so we're going to take a break.
I would ask that you think about on the break to think about whether you are grieving as a caregiver and really really put some thought into it.
You're watching Artful aging with Amy will be right back welcome back.
I've been speaking with Sarah McEwen who is a life coach and a caregiver there are a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding caregiving.
How many of you feel that you shouldn't feel the way that you do about caring for your loved one because it could be negative
for that you're embarrassed to feel that way I know that I have my own feelings like that and you think oh no but then you feel like oh well I shouldn't be thinking that like how would people judge me so,
the other thought process is you should remain the caregiver instead of looking into senior living options that's a you know something that a lot of caregivers feel like they have to do it all I have to do it consistently all the time as well.
And the other another myth that I've come across is that.
[17:55] Caregiving ends when your loved one does move into a nursing home or retirement home so Sarah I don't want to speak for you but I feel like you've probably dealt with all of these do you agree that there's a lot of misconceptions out there about caregiving.
[18:11] Yes I think that I think you've touched on a couple saying like as soon as they're in a retirement home or nursing home it's all done that was one thing that I.
Realize myself personally that is not true you are still in that caregiving role and especially.
When I'm just going to touch on covid especially is when you're essential visitor that is you that you're the only visitor so you're the only one that can go inside
when there's covid and things like that so the reality really comes down to is.
It's like you're there advocate.
You're the one that is going to be making sure that everything is done correctly your their Lifeline outside of the residence.
So it's a lot of misconceptions I think also about caregiving is that.
[19:03] I think one thing I've noticed is people and not myself I felt this way is it's a duty and an honor because my parents took care of me and I feel as though you know it's my turn to take care of them and it
it feels like it's an honor it should be an honor to do that and it is but it also comes with a lot of sacrifice and so when you.
[19:27] Tell people that your caregiving a lot of or you're taking care of your parents everyone just goes well that's what you do.
[19:33] And it's difficult with with that because it feels as though,
suck it up kind of feeling and I found that that was one of the things that was really difficult for myself is having those conversations,
with people and the misconception like you said of feeling as though it is something you should do.
And it is something you have to do and while I definitely want to take care of my parents I also feel as though I should have some space as well.
[20:02] Yeah well and you know you're also you're an adult and you're trying to run a bunch of different things in your life and things like that so it's like you need.
Your own personal stuff you know if you don't have you then what are we doing right.
But there's also I find that there's a lot of misconceptions and myths and like misinformation.
Because of something you said earlier that a lot of people don't have this experience there's a lot of people who have not made it to the caregiver realm yet or
are not involved with caregiving so they don't have that experience and so all these myths and stuff come out of it and even with me right there's you know there's times when I have a feeling that you know.
I'm you know angry or something like that and then I feel terrible about having that feeling and you're wondering if other people are judging you who don't have kids for instance or you know for you don't have a parent that you're caring for,
do you find that as well it's just like you almost anticipatory like people are going to judge you because they don't actually understand the situation.
[21:02] For sure like I've had people so there's a couple.
Conversations I've had were talking about Alzheimer's and then someone will say oh yeah my grandmother had Alzheimer's and they'll go into whole thing of what they use did and of course like I understand it's human nature to want to.
Relate but it's one of the things I think people could really take advice here is that I.
I really want people to understand that it's not the same as if you were a caregiver if you were the sole person that they rely on and also just the parent
thing a lot of times when the grandparents stuff comes up I was think we'll how old are you like 12
like so it's very difficult to have that conversation with people and.
Also just culturally I've had a few friends say to me well that's that's what you do.
That's what you're supposed to do and so there's friends of mine is that there's like yeah you just let them move in let them move into the house and I was like you know and then you wonder if I don't let them move in am I a terrible person.
And I remember thinking okay where could we put them like there was a point where I was just like I guess we gotta move you know it's a lot.
It's difficult to with our the Western culture right like we more so.
[22:25] Utilize retirement living in long-term care different stuff like that but in other cultures that's not what's done and so when I'm working in helping families of other cultures it's a huge barrier because.
They're in the western culture and this is kind of what we do around here and Ottawa and what not if it's just kind of generally what happens
so they have even I find that they even have more guilt when they have to look for a long-term care home or a retirement home for their parents because they
absolutely their culture is like that so there are kind of up against the wall not only for themselves personally trying to figure it out but then
they've probably have other influences in the same culture saying like you know what are you doing like why aren't you doing this and I bet you it feels kind of judgy,
you know have you have you come across I like do you feel like people
I don't know if people are actually judging any of us but I feel even for me I feel like I'm being judged and I don't know if it's be being hypersensitive because of being in the you know what we're dealing with.
[23:31] What do you think I think you're definitely right I think you're hypersensitive it's almost like mothering you know oh I breastfed I didn't I did this I did that you almost feel like well I'm going to be this,
terrible person if I don't do it this way or and I think it's the same thing with caregiving it's well I did this for my mom oh I did that for my parent or this is what you should do and people,
forget that everyone is an individual Journey everyone's different and even for myself I have a friend who has a mother with Alzheimer's,
and I have no place to tell her what to do no place and I know that our see we have very similar stories but she
has her own life her own needs and it's not my business I think that a lot of the time it turns into the guilt of other people's experiences.
[24:20] And you get that kind of feeling like well they're so similar to mine than I should be able to do like that.
But you forget we're all different and we all have different needs and we're pulled in different directions the reality is we are all the same.
It's true yeah everybody is on their own Journey personally and caregiving so we're going to we're going to take a break Sarah we're going to discuss support after our break and so grab a cup of coffee and we'll see you back here in a couple of.
[24:50] Are you trying to navigate the Ontario long-term care system but could use a little bit more assistance.
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[25:09] Hi everyone welcome back today Sarah and I are discussing caregiving and also being.
What has been termed the sandwich generation so meaning Sarah has both young kids as well as parents who require care.
Something icy lacking quite a bit with families I work with is support the situation I see quite often.
Is a parent requires care and their child is the one main caregiver and then they also have a few other children who are either caring from a distance.
Or some that aren't carrying at all and I know that many of you just went because there's a lot of you out there that are doing it without siblings help.
And it's frustrating I'm sure I hear a lot of stories so not only is not having the extra support stressful.
But when you layer on a family that could help who choose not to you can consider that a huge home run so I know we touched on a lot of emotions earlier but this type of situation can also have devastating consequences so let's.
[26:11] All support for now Sarah you've had a lot of ups and downs
including the first time your mom didn't know who you were which you were talking to me about earlier now
for our audience who may have friends on the Journey of Alzheimer specifically is there any advice you could offer on how they can be supportive in these super delicate moments that many people have not experienced themselves.
[26:36] Yeah for sure I think Alzheimer is is one of those things where like we talked about with the grief it is a very.
Strange grief in that the person still there so I would advise people who are learning about Alzheimer's and the caregiver
person with Alzheimer's is to remember that that person is in grief even though their mother is or father
or spouse I should say is everybody right is are exactly is around so I would I would.
[27:08] Let people let people know that this is a real feeling that the feelings are coming from a place of grief so almost treat it that way I think a lot of the time
we like you said at the we believe the person passes away and then you're like oh they're in grief and I really would love people to remember that that when.
[27:28] Alzheimer's is a type of grief that's very unique and it's a slow.
[27:34] Painful experience so just remembering whoever you're supporting the caregiver who you're supporting is to treat it a bit like that I often said.
Two friends really good friends of mine who said what can I do and I said to be honest I would love that
almost treating it like especially when I was dealing with my father who's passing away and my mother I had these two things I didn't have time to cook I didn't have time to do anything so remembering like,
you would probably make baked muffins and maybe make make more than a dozen and hand over a bit and it's just showing that you care about them and they actually have.
A chance not to think about,
food even another thing I would consider is instead of giving unsolicited advice saying we'll have you seen this we'll have you tried that and as much as I know it comes from a really good place.
[28:26] And there's no doubt in that I know it's comes from a lot of love,
really I would rather them say do you need some help do you want me to look into something for you is there something that I can do for you questions like that allows the caregiver to actually step off this like plate of
craziness and go is there something and it gives them pause to actually say yeah actually there is something
specific with my mom's friends they would say oh I'm so sorry Sarah Joy is so wonderful I can't believe she's going through this and they would say that and then a few would say Obviously offer help.
[29:04] Some would really just not know what to do and if you just ask the question
and I can and which some did I can say actually when things open up the lockdown with covid please visit her because I am struggling to get there myself I go twice a week to see my mom and more if I can
and if I know that her friend that she was friends with for years goes to see her
once you every week or every two weeks it's another day we're like okay my mom has someone looking out for her today those sorts of things really help.
One kind of tag teaming up for you so you don't feel like she doesn't have people around and being able to just have that extra person and what going back to what you touched on about you know delivering food and things like that
I also would find that super helpful because I know for me and I'm guessing I'm not the only one out there that when stressors are high.
We tend to not want to cook we tend to grab what we can grab order what we can order and you know there's other.
[30:09] Things in our life that eating terribly are going to affect right like we're trying to keep our health off.
We're trying to some of us are trying to work towards healthier bodies and minds and things like that and when we get in this overwhelming stress and we.
In those moments we just don't care.
You know that kind of food delivery thing that you were talking about would really make a difference I mean yeah yesterday I was telling one of my,
that we were home for covid-19,
and like we didn't have any wine that's like so they literally sent us wine because it was like you know you know what I mean it's like or somebody will send us acts wires at right and it's like just.
That shows that someone's listening to you and they took the initiative because the other thing is that a lot of people don't take the initiative or ask you.
Not ask you what you need but be like hey do you need X wires and be specific because I'm not going to ask you specifically for something possibly but.
That really helps me and the other thing that helps me as well as that I don't know how you feel about the Sarah but.
Another type of support that is helpful is that if I can just even get time away where I'm only responsible for myself.
[31:24] That's helpful to but that comes with a lot right that's like someone making sure that anything that I'm caring for right now is Eva is taken care of in a point where I don't have to think about it or worry about it or make sure she's fed or anything like that what do you think about that.
Oh 100% I would love time alone I like the wine too right we just we just start drinking in the bathroom just lock the door race
oh yeah I remember honestly sometimes I would just look at my husband and say I just I just want to be alone
and I'm an extrovert so for for me to say that is actually pretty bad because I get energy from people but I was
I was too many people and I need a long time for sure I totally agree and I love that you talk about specifics because actually asking
someone can give them pause and actually go okay what do I need but then you're absolutely right sometimes you're like I'm fine I'm fine it's such a normal thing to say.
[32:21] It's fine I'll be fine it almost comes out of your mouth before you even think about it so I think it's really important to say.
I'm going to make you food what would you like what kind of dietary restrictions or can I take the kids for a walk.
Yeah so I think specifics are really good like you like you said I and I love I love that idea.
Even down to your right down to the dietary restrictions like that is huge like that makes a difference in people's life like I can't eat dairy
great if someone wants to cook me something except for if it's full of dairy
I think so even just going that extra mile but I find that that is really helpful to kind of sum it up for people because if someone says what do you need I'm honestly going to say
nothing I'm fine because I don't want to put the thought into thinking about what I need because it's more work right so if someone could just come to me with something that would be even better so let's continue this call this conversation after the break
next up we're going to talk about how to find the small moments and kind of Basking in that a little bit so you're watching Artful aging with Amy on Bold Brave TV see you in a bit.
[33:27] Artful aging with Amy is currently looking for gas and show ideas for our next season drop us a line at hello at Artful aging with a me.com and let us know what you would like to learn about in our upcoming season.
[33:40] Welcome back
Sarah and I were talking over the break and I thought it would be advantageous to talk about here for a couple of minutes we were discussing boundaries with you know family members and things like that and Sarah is definitely learned
to put her boundaries up I'm still working on my boundaries but Sarah how about you a library for a little bit.
[34:02] Yeah I think that was one of the things I learned really early on and that's what's actually help me when I talked about coaching its boundaries is like one of the things we really talk about with life coaching and I had.
Let them go with with my caregiving it's like like going back to feeling like.
Feeling as though you need to do what the honorable thing and have to do it all boundaries for myself was was there a turning point in helping my helping not get
caregiver burnout I had like I said I'd twice a week I go try to see my mom before that I was probably trying to see her more than that and as long as well as my father when he was,
passing away so for myself I created those boundaries knowing like knowing as though I can only do certain things at certain times also not having conversations about
what I can and cannot do I found boundaries really helpful I
with say I know you're coming from I would say to people I know you're coming from really good place especially with the unsolicited advice but I really what I need from you right now is just support.
[35:09] It gives that indication that person it's a loving way of saying we can't have this conversation and I just wanted to point out boundaries is one of the best things I did for myself.
I would also like to say that if you are giving support to someone and you're watching us today that you know.
Try not to be as caught off-guard because sometimes boundaries are new for people and so they're trying to put boundaries and it's
because they're trying to protect themselves and sometimes people get a bit of offended by it right because they're not used to that and so if you find that that's happening as someone who's trying to support just take a minute and think it through because it's most likely that someone is really just trying to put up boundaries to protect themselves so consider that
but so let's talk about caregiving with you know it's being.
It's also rewarding right so it's a memorable Journey for both the caregiver the care givi and taking notice of the small moments often eases the difficulty of caregiving.
In fact I'm pretty sure that's why kids are made so cute so you know even I definitely have her ups and downs but then she does something hilarious and it helps to align myself again.
Creating memories can be as easy as a shared joke
or bringing the grandkids to see their grandparents or even getting something from your loved one like a something that's been passed down for instance Sarah you've told me about a few of your cherished moments would you share that with our audience.
[36:36] For sure you know there is a lot of sadness that comes with caregiving knowing that its end of life for
close to and a lot of pain there but of course like as you said it's been also a lot of Joys one of the things I noticed with my dad is
all these appointments that were
extremely difficult to go to hearing about how he's not doing well and you only have so much longer and all these things but also allowed us to have time together we would drive back and forth from the Riverside Hospital and it
would be like a 35 40 minute drive and I was able to spend that time with him we would get in the car and I started.
Enjoying our alone time and being very present and asking all the questions and getting all the answers it was just him a night so.
And I actually felt bad for my brother who is in Toronto who didn't have those moments with him and those chairs times.
And he offed he often felt guilty for not being close by for that reason and so one of the chairs things I have with my dad is definitely the drives that we had between appointments like a million appointments and then also one memorable and funny.
[37:48] Time with my dad loves cats in fact asked about the cats before he asked about the grandkids.
Not probably what I would do to house the cats like they're fine and how's your grandkids.
But I would I snuck my cat in he had about.
[38:09] 45 days left I didn't know at the time because I didn't know exactly when my dad was going to pass but I knew that he wanted to pass by made he didn't make it to made he had done all the work to get there but he passed before right before his scheduled appointment but I brought the cat in and.
I snuck him in and they were letting me go come and go as I pleased because they were.
Very aware of the the issue and the situation so I just went right by Mike I'm here and the cats in my bag.
And now doing and I just brought him inning yeah my dad was lying there he loved it is like you brought the cat and like yep it's like of course you did yeah and the cat just lay on him.
It was wonderful with my mom memorable moments are a little difficult because of course memory memorable moments and making those things,
but it makes me very present I one of the things about Alzheimer's is that it allows you to really hone in at the time you have like right in that moment and when I do get that flicker of light when it's her it is.
Even more precious than I can explain its.
[39:13] Beautiful I get emotional thinking about I get emotional at the time because if she does something that's so my mom.
Feel so good inside and that is something I've learned with those moments.
I must be so like it rewarding and difficult right because it's you know as Alzheimer's progresses or any dementias those moments just become a little bit blurry or right and it's just.
[39:38] It's tough but
that's one of the reasons I wanted you to share this because you told me about the cat and I was like that's going to be an amazing story but I'm totally that person that would you know
want to sneak a dog or a cat in or
be the one that would like to see the dog or the cat so I think that those you know obviously not knowing you know when your dad was going to pass I think looking back probably even made it even more special
for both of you probably right at that moment can you just before we close out with you today Sarah can you just tell people what made is because I don't know if people understand what that is just can you let them know what it is just briefly.
Yeah it's medical assistance in dying so
I'm very thankful that our country has that option so people who are
terminally ill and did not want treatment or don't have treatment can decide to die with dignity and not suffer so it's a beautiful thing in my opinion to have that option.
And my dad wanted that
and he didn't make it in time I think sometimes I feel that's one thing I have a bit of guilt with because I called and they need two or three days to get that sorted.
To to it but it was too late he passed on the Saturday was it was due for the Monday but it's a it's a wonderful thing to have
I personally hope that they do it for Alzheimer's eventually because I know that's that's the thing that they've discussed but I do think it's the be.
[41:07] Super super tricky but yeah we're I'm grateful to have it to for we've had clients as well that had that so and
I wanted to just point out to you that this is what Artful aging is all about is really just letting people that they're not blood
letting people know that they're not alone and to share these experiences so Sarah thank you so much for coming on today I really appreciate you being open and sharing your story.
Thank you for having me.
[41:33] After the break we're going to look at my top tips for families who are looking to support their family and caregivers and they're not sure where to start so stay tuned and I'll see you in a few minutes.
[41:43] Are you a native retirement living but unsure where to begin a retirement home advisors .c a we have brought Senior Living advisors together from all over Canada to help families navigate the senior living industry.
[41:55] For more information book a call with one of our advisors today the magical welcome back
I hope that you've been enjoying Today's Show and you've gotten lots of information and although today we are speaking more of a family caregiver or a child who's a caregiver to their parent I'd like to take a minute to recognize that
all of the seniors who are also caring for their partners.
According to stats Canada 1/4 of seniors aged 65 and older which is about 1.5 million people
provide care or help to a family members and friends so they need some love too so if you know a caregiver and you want to help I hope these tips are going to help you.
So tip 1 for today would be to touch base and keep in touch just knowing that someone is available and that they will follow up makes a world of difference
many people won't ask for help so you need to become an investigator and ask for yourself so that's it's really the part of
that if you're going to be supportive to someone that you follow up and don't just
you know say hey I'm here for you let me know if you need anything which is generally what we say when people pass away and things like that
but the problem is that those people that are in high burnout High caregiving
they're not going to come and ask you for help most likely so it's way more valuable for you to be touching base with them regularly and checking in and saying you know do need X wires out very specifically.
[43:20] Next to the avoid telling the caregiver how to do things differently or offer solicited unsolicited advice caring for another person's well-being can be exhausting,
and many caregivers find that even more disheartening when they have a family member or a friend who
who is criticizing them it takes a lot of effort to make these decisions so please remember that and sometimes
as the person who's giving support you don't feel like you're criticizing them but you know when you're challenging them with something they've decided to do that is a type of criticism and it really really does take a good blow at someone
number three would be actively making a planned with the caregiver for them to take an extended period off without interruption
now depending on everyone's schedule this could mean two days or a couple of weeks just depends Diaz that I don't know about
you know you guys generally speaking but when I'm in a high stress scenario it takes at least a day for me to come down from that high stress scenario and take a breath
and then the second is where the relaxing starts to happen a bit.
[44:30] So on that note also please don't expect the caregiver to come back all rejuvenated and relaxed as if they are fixed keep in mind that,
all the stressors are still in play and more so this break is like getting a fresh breath of air and being able to step out for a minute so there's still going to be super stressed or still going to be right into it but then able to breathe for a day or two
you know which makes a big difference so that's it for today on next week's show we will actually be discussing ways to deal with guilt and stress with David Gilbert who is in integrative mental health therapist.
So if today's show sounded familiar come on back next week and if it wasn't the show for you come back anyway next week and see what David has to say.
For information about today's guests as well upcoming guests please join me at Artful aging with a me.com thanks so much for joining us today on Bold Brave TV from me to all of you I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.
[45:28] You've been listening to Artful aging with host femi many folks just like you feel they're alone in their journey and helping a loved one or caregiver.
So tune in each week and let a me show you that help is around the corner and it's just one conversation away here on Artful Aging with Amy.