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Christeen and her mother

After Christeen‘s mother suffered a stroke, Christeen became her mother‘s primary caregiver.

Christeen was in the process of attending school to complete her second degree before her life took a turn she never expected. Her mother suffered a severe stroke that left her reliant on around-the-clock care.

Christeen was advised to put her mother in long-term care. It would be easier and cheaper, she was told.

But she decided to keep her mother at home.

“I didn’t want to abandon her,” Christeen said. “It’s just the two of us in Canada, and I wanted to remain by her side.”

Christeen immediately put her life on hold. At the time, she had been living on her own in a small studio apartment. She found a new, larger apartment where she could move in with her mother, and made sure everything was in place before her mother came home.

After her mother was discharged from the hospital, Christeen had to adjust to the dramatic change. As a young adult, she was used to caring for herself. She had to shift her thinking to focus on her mother’s care.

Her mother requires help with all aspects of her care, including assistance with a feeding tube, help with bathing, and changing her incontinence products. Christeen also has to wake up multiple times a night to give her mother water through an IV.

Circle of Care has been assisting Christeen during this challenging time. One of our social workers, Olga Friedman, has been helping Christeen continue to secure her mother’s government-funded hours for a Personal Support Worker, which provides Christeen with respite and help with care.

This change in her situation has required Christeen to juggle providing full-time care for her mother while working full-time to financially support them. Olga is currently in the process of helping Christeen access financial resources to supplement her income and cover her expenses.

Throughout the whole experience, Christeen has remained by her mother’s side. She was there visiting her mother in the hospital during her recovery, and continues to provide ongoing personal care and emotional support.

Christeen joined the Caregiver Club in May 2021. We are proud to recognize Christeen for the constant care she provides as a caregiver and for her demonstration of the everlasting strength of family bonds.

“I nominated Christeen as a Courageous Caregiver because her story really touched me,” said Olga. “She’s so young, and it would have been completely understandable if she had chosen to put her mother in a long-term care home. But she chose to keep her at home, and has been continuously overcoming many struggles to provide her mother with care.”

The Courageous Caregivers Recognition Program recognizes and celebrates the outstanding dedication of family caregivers in providing care for their loved ones, and is part of the Caregiver Club program. We recognize the diversity of everyday experiences and celebrate the unique journeys of caregivers. Would you like to nominate a family caregiver? Visit https://caregiver.circleofcare.com/courageous-caregivers/