That was the doctor's diagnosis in 2006. My father had just passed passed away the year before. I was an only child, had three young kids of my own, and was working full time. I had absolutely no understanding of the disease. I thought I could manage my mom, everyone, and everything.
I was caught up in a cyclone of caregiving that lasted for many years. It took me a very long time to see the impact it was having on my health and the well-being of my family. In 2011 I suffered a nervous breakdown and was completely burned out.
There were warning signs that I ignored. Looking back, had I known about the type of support that was available to me, it would have had a profound impact on the quality of care that my mother received, as well as the level of stress that I experienced as a caregiver.
It has become my life's mission to help others identify and move through caregiving challeneges by sharing my knowledge, and my most honest, and insightful experiences. This is why I founded Caregiver Crosswalk.
Claire Webster is a Certified Alzheimer Care Consultant, as well as a spokesperson, lecturer, mentor and advocate for caregivers. She is also the Past President of the Alzheimer Groupe Inc. (Montreal, QC).
"Help is available for Alzheimer Caregivers"
Claire Webster shares her personal voyage in a special op-ed piece in the Montreal Gazette.