Color & Control:

Expert Advice

Dropping, rushing and falling 

Q) Recently, I’ve found myself nervous and in hurry all the time. I’ve dropped a few plates and glasses, tripped up the stairs on the way to help my mum and even knocked over a bowl of pasta. How can I calm down?

We hear you. Juggling your own life and caregiving for someone else can be nerve wracking – especially when things are changing quickly. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself if you’re taking on too much or if you need to explore ways to get extra help. Experts also suggest taking the time to plan might help you organized might reduce your stress level and that chaotic feeling.

My wife is ill and I’m not

Q) Is it appropriate for me to go out and enjoy myself while my wife is home in bed? I’m feeling guilty and members of my family have made a few snide remarks that I’m still going out for lunch with friends?

Many couples face similar situations and its understandable that you can’t stay home all of the time. Here are a few things to consider: Is your wife well cared for in your absence? Are the people you are spending time with contributing positively to your self-care and well-being? While you don’t have to justify things, it might help if you discussed your needs and rationale with naysayers to help them to better understand your need for “fresh air”.

Nasty feet now hurt

Q) Dad is having problems with his feet and has cracked skin, blisters and what looks like some kind of infection? He’s reluctant to speak to the doctor about the issue. Suggestions?

Getting professional advice from a footcare specialist, especially if your father has a long-term health condition such as diabetes or arthritis or circulatory problems as there is more risk of complications. Here are some things that your father might consider for comfort and hygiene such as wearing well-fitting socks, the right size shoes with good grips to avoid slips and falls and testing insoles. Keep his toenails short to stop them from pressing at the end of his shoe or getting ingrown. Feet should be clean and regularly moisturized, dry, hard skin can be filed.

Behaviour spoils the fun

Q) The hospital auxiliary work I do has been affected by changes made by a new executive committee. Everyone’s moaning and gossiping about them. Now my volunteer time is more strenuous and not enjoyable. Is it okay to complain or quit? 

This turn of events is most unfortunate. Volunteer work should be rewarding, not  stressful. It’s hard for an outsider to determine root cause of the problems. Before resign ,try  to chat with  someone on the committee you might want to discuss the situation to see if there is another approach or a compromise. However, I suggest that you should feel free to look for somewhere else to contribute if things don’t change for you. 

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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