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A Daughter's Journey: Finding Support and Care for a Mother with Dementia in Toronto

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An older woman sits with her head in her hands.
A daughter shares her personal experiences, challenges, and tips on finding the right support care workers and services, navigating the healthcare system

Dealing with a loved one with dementia is a difficult journey that comes with its own set of challenges. As a daughter of a mother who has dementia, I understand this journey all too well. From the moment we received the diagnosis, my family and I have been on a mission to find the best possible support care workers and services to help us through this difficult time.


In Canada, approximately 747,000 people live with dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common form. This number is expected to increase to 1.4 million by 2031. Sadly, my mother became one of these statistics. Her cognitive impairment has brought about significant changes in our lives.


We had to adjust to a new normal, where daily tasks that were once effortless had become a challenge. My mother's memory began to fail, and we started to worry about her safety. It was not an easy journey, and we often felt overwhelmed and heartbroken.


Finding the right care worker was a daunting task, but we discovered some valuable resources along the way. The first step was to identify my mother's specific needs and seek recommendations from healthcare professionals, friends, family members, and support groups. We researched local home care agencies and explored online platforms like Kore Life and HomeCareAssistance.ca to connect with care workers in our area.


A caregiver helps a woman with dementia
We faced several challenges, including emotional strain, financial burden

After conducting interviews and verifying potential caregivers' references and certifications, we were able to find a care worker compatible with our mother. This was a significant relief to us as we could now have some respite from the constant caregiving responsibilities.


Throughout our journey, we faced several challenges, including emotional strain, financial burden, trust and compatibility issues, and navigating the healthcare system. Some issues we encountered while navigating the healthcare system included understanding the various services and benefits available, coordinating appointments with multiple healthcare providers, and obtaining necessary paperwork for government programs and subsidies.


To avoid common issues, we recommend the following tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the healthcare system: Learn about the different services, benefits, and programs available for individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment. This may include government-funded services, private care options, and support groups.

  2. Keep detailed records: Maintain a well-organized file with your loved one's medical history, medications, appointments, and contact information for healthcare providers. This will make it easier to coordinate care and keep track of important information.

  3. Ask questions and seek clarification: If you don't understand something or need more information, don't hesitate to ask healthcare providers or seek clarification from relevant organizations.

  4. Develop a strong relationship with your loved one's primary care physician: They can be an invaluable resource in guiding you through the healthcare system and coordinating care with other providers.

  5. Connect with support groups and fellow caregivers: Sharing experiences and advice with others in similar situations can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare system.

  6. Make time for self-care: Caring for a loved one with dementia can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It's essential to prioritize self-care, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time with friends and family, to avoid burnout. Consider hiring a respite caregiver to provide temporary relief and give yourself time to recharge.

  7. Keep communication channels open: It's essential to maintain regular communication with your loved one's care team, including doctors, nurses, and care workers. This can help you stay informed about your loved one's condition and ensure that their care plan is up-to-date.

  8. Take advantage of community resources: Many communities offer resources for individuals with dementia and their families, such as support groups, adult day programs, and educational seminars. These resources can provide valuable information, support, and a sense of community.

  9. Prepare for end-of-life decisions: As dementia progresses, it's essential to have conversations with your loved one about end-of-life decisions and to establish advanced directives. This can ensure that their wishes are respected and provide peace of mind for both you and your loved one.

  10. Celebrate the good moments: While caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, it's important to celebrate the good moments and cherish the memories. Take time to reflect on the positive aspects of your relationship and create new memories that you can cherish for years to come.

As a daughter, watching my mother's memory fade away is heartbreaking.

There are days when she does not recognize me or remember our shared memories.

It is tough to know that the woman who raised me, loved me, and sacrificed for me can no longer remember those moments.


However, I have also learned that dementia does not define my mother. She is still the same person she was before her diagnosis, and she deserves to be treated with love, respect, and dignity. I try to focus on the present moment and create new memories with her, even if she may not remember them later.

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A Daughter's Journey: Finding Support and Care for a Mother with Dementia in Toronto

Updated: Aug 25, 2023


An older woman sits with her head in her hands.
A daughter shares her personal experiences, challenges, and tips on finding the right support care workers and services, navigating the healthcare system

Dealing with a loved one with dementia is a difficult journey that comes with its own set of challenges. As a daughter of a mother who has dementia, I understand this journey all too well. From the moment we received the diagnosis, my family and I have been on a mission to find the best possible support care workers and services to help us through this difficult time.


In Canada, approximately 747,000 people live with dementia, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common form. This number is expected to increase to 1.4 million by 2031. Sadly, my mother became one of these statistics. Her cognitive impairment has brought about significant changes in our lives.


We had to adjust to a new normal, where daily tasks that were once effortless had become a challenge. My mother's memory began to fail, and we started to worry about her safety. It was not an easy journey, and we often felt overwhelmed and heartbroken.


Finding the right care worker was a daunting task, but we discovered some valuable resources along the way. The first step was to identify my mother's specific needs and seek recommendations from healthcare professionals, friends, family members, and support groups. We researched local home care agencies and explored online platforms like Kore Life and HomeCareAssistance.ca to connect with care workers in our area.


A caregiver helps a woman with dementia
We faced several challenges, including emotional strain, financial burden

After conducting interviews and verifying potential caregivers' references and certifications, we were able to find a care worker compatible with our mother. This was a significant relief to us as we could now have some respite from the constant caregiving responsibilities.


Throughout our journey, we faced several challenges, including emotional strain, financial burden, trust and compatibility issues, and navigating the healthcare system. Some issues we encountered while navigating the healthcare system included understanding the various services and benefits available, coordinating appointments with multiple healthcare providers, and obtaining necessary paperwork for government programs and subsidies.


To avoid common issues, we recommend the following tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the healthcare system: Learn about the different services, benefits, and programs available for individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment. This may include government-funded services, private care options, and support groups.

  2. Keep detailed records: Maintain a well-organized file with your loved one's medical history, medications, appointments, and contact information for healthcare providers. This will make it easier to coordinate care and keep track of important information.

  3. Ask questions and seek clarification: If you don't understand something or need more information, don't hesitate to ask healthcare providers or seek clarification from relevant organizations.

  4. Develop a strong relationship with your loved one's primary care physician: They can be an invaluable resource in guiding you through the healthcare system and coordinating care with other providers.

  5. Connect with support groups and fellow caregivers: Sharing experiences and advice with others in similar situations can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the complexities of the healthcare system.

  6. Make time for self-care: Caring for a loved one with dementia can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It's essential to prioritize self-care, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time with friends and family, to avoid burnout. Consider hiring a respite caregiver to provide temporary relief and give yourself time to recharge.

  7. Keep communication channels open: It's essential to maintain regular communication with your loved one's care team, including doctors, nurses, and care workers. This can help you stay informed about your loved one's condition and ensure that their care plan is up-to-date.

  8. Take advantage of community resources: Many communities offer resources for individuals with dementia and their families, such as support groups, adult day programs, and educational seminars. These resources can provide valuable information, support, and a sense of community.

  9. Prepare for end-of-life decisions: As dementia progresses, it's essential to have conversations with your loved one about end-of-life decisions and to establish advanced directives. This can ensure that their wishes are respected and provide peace of mind for both you and your loved one.

  10. Celebrate the good moments: While caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, it's important to celebrate the good moments and cherish the memories. Take time to reflect on the positive aspects of your relationship and create new memories that you can cherish for years to come.

As a daughter, watching my mother's memory fade away is heartbreaking.

There are days when she does not recognize me or remember our shared memories.

It is tough to know that the woman who raised me, loved me, and sacrificed for me can no longer remember those moments.


However, I have also learned that dementia does not define my mother. She is still the same person she was before her diagnosis, and she deserves to be treated with love, respect, and dignity. I try to focus on the present moment and create new memories with her, even if she may not remember them later.

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