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 (PAC), Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA), as well as a Conference Speaker and Educator in the field of caring for an individual with dementia. She is Founder and President of Caregiver Crosswalk Inc., a consulting firm that provides education and support services to help individuals navigate the journey of Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia related illnesses.
Claire works in collaboration with McGill University's Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning and the Jewish General Hospital's Centre for Excellence in Longevity to develop dementia education workshops. Claire is a Member of the Canadian Chapter of the world renowned Weizmann Institute of Science and is a Member of the Committee of Experts of the Jewish General Hospital's Centre for Excellence in Longevity, as well as an author-blogger for The Caregiver Network. As a former caregiver to her late mother, Claire has had first hand experience in dealing with the overwhelming emotional and physical impact that the disease places on the individual and family members.
"Help is available for Alzheimer Caregivers"
Claire Webster shares her personal voyage in a special op-ed piece in the Montreal Gazette.