For those of you out there caring for your own Squawking Chickens…
I love my mother. But she’s not easy. In 2011, ma was diagnosed with a rare illness called POEMS. It can cause everything from damaged nerves to enlarged organs and there’s no cure available, so we deal with it one crisis at a time. Not something I write about often, but today that changes because caregivers deserve more recognition and support. If we’re spending our afternoons sorting medications and helping our parents to the washroom, we shouldn’t have to feel like we’re on our own to deal with it all. And we certainly shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. After all, 8 million of us in Canada right now are family caregivers. That’s 1 in 4 Canadians. So chances are, you or someone close to you is living this right now. And I don’t think enough has been done to offer support to caregivers. Until now.
Taking care of ma has been scary and unpredictable, and I know there are millions of other Canadians experiencing this uncertainty too, which is why I am proud to announce my partnership with Elizz, a first-of-its-kind service, dedicated to all things caregiving and available in Canada as of today.
Elizz is powered by Saint Elizabeth, Canada’s largest social enterprise, with 8,000 employees nationwide who visit 18,000 people a day. With the launch of Elizz, they’re bringing something truly innovative to the market that will make a tremendous and positive impact on caregivers in Canada.
When ma became ill, as an only child, I had the privilege of being able to care for her. But my career opportunities meant that I was busier than ever, and it was an incredibly overwhelming time – I was grateful to be able to spend time with her, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have our struggles. I felt guilty on the days when I just couldn’t be there because of work commitments and torn when I was with her and was preoccupied thinking about work. Also, she’s already a high maintenance person, on the best of days. But she is my Squawking Chicken and the most important person in my life so it has been an absolute honour to be able to care for her. I just wish, well, we all need more support, don’t we?
It’s about time for innovation around how we support caregivers. There is support out there, but Elizz is the first to bring all the information, resources and services caregivers need into one place. It’s easy, convenient and takes the stress out of it for caregivers like me. You can quickly and easily book nurses and support workers, or find so many free DIY resources online. If you need help understanding options and supports available for you or your family member, you can even book you own Caregiver Coaching sessions with Elizz healthcare experts.
We’ve innovated around every other aspect of our lives – arranging cabs through Uber, ordering groceries to our doorstep – why shouldn’t we be able to make caregiving convenient too? Having a resource like Elizz can improve the care you’re able to provide, and help manage your own stress. I know I’m not the only Canadian to deal with these challenges and now that Elizz is available I want other caregivers to know where they can turn for support. For more information, visit elizz.com.