Notes from a caregiver’s diary… Who Cares?


Sometimes a light bulb goes off and you miss it! This is the story of a blog, a light bulb, my amazing business partner – Gail and a conversation.

Let me begin at the beginning…

My Dad, Len had dementia – a syndrome that causes serious loss of cognitive ability beyond that of normal aging. Symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, loss of judgment and reasoning and changes in mood and behaviour.  — Alzheimer Society

My Mum, Mary was his prime caregiver and, as a family, we have been on an incredible journey with this disease.

Mary and I had just taken Len for his first appointment with a Geriatric Psychiatrist. This Doctor was highly recommended and he became a wonderful resource for us as we continued on our mission to find out as much as we could about dementia and what we could expect as time goes by.

After this first appointment, I returned to our office and was chatting with Gail. All of a sudden the light went on — for Gail, not me!

“Don’t you see?” she asked, “you’ve been thinking about writing a blog for a while and here is one experience you can share with others who are going through the same thing!” The same thing… that would be caring for someone who has dementia.

Gail and I own Downsizing Diva, a company that helps older adults organize, downsize and move. Our staff has been trained by Alzheimer Toronto to work with clients with dementia. I was involved in a Support Group for sons and daughters of family members with dementia. I am a Senior Move Manager and work with older adults every single day!

The statistics are scary… Every FIVE minutes, ONE Canadian is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

A Caregiver’s Diary is about being a dementia caregiver. As Gail suggested, there will be times when others have stories they want to tell and there will always be the opportunity for sharing. That’s what this is all about — learning from each other.

But first, I start with a disclaimer. Although I have had some training, read some books on the subject and had helped care for my Dad’s for over six years, I am not medically trained.

I am navigating these waters, like many of you are for the first time. While there are common symptoms and behaviours to the disease, each person will move at their own pace.

There is a social stigma attached to those people living with AD. In writing this blog, I want to share some of the insights and experiences that my family and friends observed and try to put a “face” on this “disease”.  We want to continue the conversation!

And, maybe, just maybe, lighten the load for someone trying their best to help the person they love.

Are you a family caregiver?

Do you know someone who is a family caregiver?

 TCS-LOGO without Saint Elizabeth

Ontario Science Centre

FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2016

10 am – 5 pm