Farm industry upheaval brings a way of life to an end

Prairie towns and villages are becoming relics of the past. Formerly bustling main streets are lined with boarded-up businesses, inhabited by aging retirees who carry the memories of a bygone era

Farm industry upheaval brings a way of life to an endWhat do you think is Canada’s riskiest business? Childhood on our family farm taught me the answer to that question. Despite years of heartbreaking disappointments, my father was a perfect example of the adage “hope springs eternal.” Each spring, he would sing happily on our tractor while seeding wheat, barley and oats. Then we hoped…

Caregivers don’t need a pat on the back; they need more support

Governments must begin to accept their responsibility to improve caregivers access to support services and patient care resources

Caregivers don’t need a pat on the back; they need more supportAre you aware of the significant contributions that family caregivers make to society? In 2012, eight million Canadians – 25 per cent of the population! – provided care and 2.2 million Canadians received that care in their homes – most often from family. In 2009, the estimated value of family care was more than $25…

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate support

Individuals with developmental disabilities live longer than ever and that means the responsibility for care is shifting to siblings

Siblings who become caretakers often lack adequate supportA combination of better medical care and good lives in the community mean longer life expectancies for individuals with a developmental disability. That’s good news. But many are outliving their parents, who have taken care of them over their lifetimes. Once parents are no longer able to provide the same level of support or care,…

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teams

Wards are staffed based on caring for a sick but otherwise self-sufficient patient population. The reality is patients need family caregivers in the hospital

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teamsFamily care is a key part of hospital care, so let's start talking about it that way. When a loved one is admitted to hospital, family caregivers want to offer comfort and support at the bedside. But in order to perform their healing role, they need to be recognized as key members of the hospital…

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricane

In Atlantic Canada, the moment you think you have everything nailed down, a Category 2 storm decides to pop in

Dancing in the dark – in the midst of a hurricaneA word to the wise: A daily five-km fast walk and a nightly 15-minute endurance routine on a floor mat doesn’t prepare a 50-something body for a sudden dismount from a handstand – especially if said body lands on its tippy toes, like Baryshnikov on a really, really bad morning. “Crunch!” was the sound heard…

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both ends

When a dollar earned triggers higher taxes and simultaneously reduces benefits, what’s left to spend or save?

Low-income Canadian families squeezed from both endsA look at effective tax rates across provinces shows that many low-income families in Canada take home 40 cents or less on the additional dollars they earn. The marginal effective tax rate – which accounts for how much you pay in additional income taxes and lose in federal and provincial transfer benefits when you earn…

Canada a warmth of caring in the frozen north

Canadians tend to see caring as just the stuff of everyday life – ordinary people doing what comes naturally

Canada a warmth of caring in the frozen northThere’s much to celebrate in Canada. Our country’s natural beauty and abundant resources give us many reasons for gratitude and celebration. But there’s an invisible resource that underpins our collective prosperity that deserves special mention: the caring people of Canada. Every day, their natural caring actions touch almost every one of us. According to the…

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failure

Sharing our struggles with staff and family, and explaining the financial situation to suppliers may be humbling, but it relieves the weight of our shame

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failureWe all feel shame some time. Usually we feel this powerful emotion when we do something that doesn’t quite match up with our personal values. As a child, we might have felt shameful if we told a lie to our parents or were mean to a friend. As a teenager, we might have felt the…

Why Canada needs a plan to address dementia and Alzheimer’s

There is no magic bullet, but a national action plan can improve care and quality of life

Why Canada needs a plan to address dementia and Alzheimer’sBy Howard Feldman University of British Columbia and Carole Estabrooks University of Alberta Canada needs a national action plan to address dementia and Alzheimer’s. One of the biggest threats to quality of life and health in aging is the loss of cognitive abilities and autonomy associated with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Today, 750,000 Canadians live with dementia and…

Coping with the family burdens related to caregiving

Our Family Ties column examines the issues of caregiving in Canadian society, and what we can do to alleviate some of the burden

Coping with the family burdens related to caregivingAn aging Canadian population and smaller families, combined with reduced health and social care budgets, mean the challenges of providing care to seniors will only worsen. Legions of families are buckling under the emotional, physical and fiscal burdens of caregiving. These pressures will be exacerbated by growing numbers of people living with demanding health challenges such…
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