loved ones while they are healthy and
able to make their own decisions,” she
says. “Most people who call us at Health
Link have not had any sort of discussion
about ‘What are your wishes?’ They call
us when they’re in crisis and unsure of
where to turn or how to proceed.”
Despite the long hours caring for
people at work and after hours caring for
relatives, Sheila sees some positives in it
all. “I’ve learned more about tolerance,
understanding and humility,” she says.
“It’s a daily journey between anger,
frustration, sadness and all these other
emotions. It’s really changing how I
*Sheila’s last name has not been used to
protect her and her family’s privacy.
ASK FOR HELP
• Alzheimer Society of Alberta &
Northwest Territories. Get
information about dementia and
Alzheimer’s disease, sign up for
support groups or counselling and
find out about educational events
for people who have dementia, their
loved ones and caregivers.
• Call Health Link at 811. Call 811
from anywhere in Alberta to be
referred to dementia advice nurses,
specialized nurses who are trained
in elder and dementia care. If you’re
out of the province or calling over the
Internet, dial 1-866-408-5465.
• Home care. Find out about home
care options to support your aging
loved ones who need help living on
their own. Call 811 to find resources
• Ask loved ones for help. See your
siblings or other family members for
help dealing with a loved one with
dementia. Ask them to do a specific
task, such as, “Could you please
bring Dad some groceries?” instead
of saying, “Could you please help?”
• Take time for yourself. When you’re
stressed, it’s even more important to
eat well and get exercise. Try to find
time for yourself every day.
• Get rid of the guilt. Feeling guilty
doesn’t help anyone. Consider talking
with a friend or a counsellor to get the
tools you need to shed the guilt.
Optometrists are trained
for urgent eye care needs.
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