Wendy Johnstone

Taking care of the caregiver

Sometimes the rewards of caregiving are outweighed by the stress, physical and emotional work, which invariably leads to burnout

Caring for the caregiver

Being a successful caregiver requires care for the one you are looking after, but also requires looking after your own health

Tips for talking to your loved one about extra help as they get older

The first step to openly discuss touchy subjects is to learn about your aging loved one's feelings related to aging

Make sure your aging loved one gets the most out of their doctor appointment

Comox Valley columnist Wendy Johnstone provides tips to ensure your aging loved one's doctor visits provide the most answers

Tips for Comox Valley residents seeking private in-home support for seniors

Thinking about private in-home support for a senior? First, know what you need, write it down and be specific, then get looking

What to know before you look for home support help in the Comox Valley

What kind of help is needed? How much help is needed? What questions should you ask of health care agencies beforehand?

How the Home and Community Care program can help Comox Valley seniors

Home and Community Care of the Vancouver Island Health Authority can help seniors living at home who need assistance

New series: Navigating the Healthcare system

Provides information for people who want to continue living at home, but now need extra help to do so in the Comox Valley

Tips for including elderly family members in holiday celebrations

Changes in the normal course of aging can affect the degree to which an aging loved one can engage in holiday celebrations

Loss and grief part of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s

Loss and grief are part of the daily experience of those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

Strategies to help with death and dying

I like reading the obituaries. It’s the first section I flip to in our local paper.

Support is available for caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s and related dementia

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming.

There are many resources for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease

Continuing with the education theme, September’s columns by Wendy Johnstone are going to focus on Alzheimer’s disease awareness and resources for family caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Caregiving can be like going back to school

Going back to school isn’t dissimilar to caregiving. Caregivers are constantly faced with new situations and usually have to learn on the go, ranging from navigating the health care system, how to push a wheelchair safely or helping Mom transfer from bed to her commode. We rarely have all the answers and sometimes it means asking others to help us. Some caregivers sign up for workshops and seminars as a way to “school” themselves.

Caregivers need vacations too — and these tips might help

Being a caregiver and taking a vacation don’t always go hand in hand. Here are some tips to make going on vacation a little easier.

Plan ahead for smoother travel with seniors

Talking to your transportation company and accommodation provider well in advance is probably the most important thing you can do (and of course reading this column!) to make travel as a senior or with a senior easier.

Older adults at greater risk of being affected by hot weather and sun

Older adults are at a greater risk of being affected by the hot weather and sun during summer months. There are many physiological changes that affect a senior’s ability to stay cool during the summer months.

Distance caregiving is quite the ride

Distance caregiving is quite the ride — guilt for not doing enough or for not being there, sadness in accepting our aging loved one’s decline, anxiety and stress of frequent and unpredictable travel and fear of the unknown.

There are options to help balance eldercare and work

Our third and final column on Work and Eldercare, gives a summary of options to assist in balancing caregiving roles with your work.

If only balancing work and eldercare were as simple as a basic mathematical equation

Assessing work situation + assessing how eldercare activities affect your work = identifying a plan to achieve balance. Our last column talked about the first part of the equation — assessing your work situation; that is the level of impact eldercare is having on your work, your job responsibilities and how much flexibility you have in your workplace and the level of trust with those you work with. The second part of the equation is to better understand your caregiving role in relation to your work life.