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Expert Advice

Late all the time

While mum has more time than ever and fewer demands on her time, she’s never ready when I come to pick her up for healthcare and hair appointments. It’s always a chaotic rush. Help?  

Simple planning ahead ideas might be to: 1. Try not to over-schedule. 2. Post a visible agenda for each day with highlighted activities. 3. Encourage laying out clothes and accessories ahead of time (even before bed). 4. Make a plan to keep a bag / purse packed by the door with keys/wallet/water and other key items like medicine ready to go. 5. See if your mum is more apt to remember emails/notes/phone calls or will to hire a support person or ask a neighbour for help.

Veterans funding

Is there an office for Veterans Affairs that I can visit to find out about my benefits? I’m not sure what I qualify for.

There most certainly is. The Canadian government’s Veterans Independence Program provides annual tax-free
funding for services such as grounds maintenance, housekeeping, meal preparation, personal care, and professional health and support services to qualifying applicants.  This program does not replace other federal, provincial or municipal programs. To qualify a senior must be a previous Canadian Armed Forces member or Veteran, a current or former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Second World War or Korean War Veteran (includes Merchant Navy). For more information visit

All eggs in one basket

My dad is insisting on selling the family house now that mum has retired he’s giving the proceeds to his friend’s son to invest. We’re nervous because it’s a lot of money and his friend’s son isn’t a licenced broker.

Your concern is valid. Yes,  your dad’s  friend and his son may have the best of  intention, its not wise to invest with friends who are not registered professionals. Using a licensed professional is the safest way to be sure that you’re getting the best advice and that your funds are being well-managed. Experts suggest shopping around to find the best fit for your dad’s individual needs and future financial requirements.

Not ready to retire

Just as I was about to retire my husband got ill. I’m now faced with becoming his caregiver. We can afford care for him but now I am thinking twice about retiring.

It’s perfectly understandable. At the best of times, retirement is a major life transition and with 40 hours a week of extra time on your hands the prospect may be daunting- especially if caregiving is involved.  Keep your own health in mind and make sure that you find enough time to make new friends and join activities that you’ll find fulfilling. Caregiving, even with professional help, can be tricky when you’re juggling work and household duties too. Be sure to take care of yourself as a priority.

The questions in this issue of Caregiver Solutions were answered by the experts at the Canadian Abilities Foundation and Canada Cares (

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