Read the February 2024 issue of Mithomahcihowin – NCN Family & Community Wellness Centre’s bi-monthly health and wellness news update.

Featured Story

Caring for your Elderly Loved One

It can be difficult to watch your loved one grow older and need support. In many ways, your roles will begin to reverse, as you become the caregiver, and they become reliant on your help.

The best way to move into this stage of life is with preparation, compassion and humour. Make a plan to care for your loved one before things become overwhelming. It may be helpful to gradually offer more support, and to take things off their list slowly. You don’t want an emergency to throw everyone into a panic. Remember that your loved one may be feeling frustrated, embarrassed and reluctant to receive help. Be kind and patient.

Split up responsibilities with other caregivers. It’s unfair to expect one person (often the oldest daughter) to provide all help, so call a meeting with everyone who is able to provide support. Make a list of things that your loved one needs, and determine who is the most natural to take on that chore. Consider things like errands, housekeeping, meal prep, finances, home/yard/car maintenance, social activities, medical appointments, etc. Plan to meet monthly to discuss problems and speak honestly.

Use simple systems to ensure everyone has all important information. Keep a list on the fridge of current medications and dosages. Have another list of important names & phone numbers. If several people are coming into the home, use a daily journal to log your name, date and time, and to write reminders and notes for other caregivers.

Ensure their home is physically safe. Walk through each room and watch for things like frayed power cords, loose carpet, broken blinds or curtains, weak shelves, etc. Consider adding movement aids, such as a bar in the shower or by the toilet. Inspect the outside of their property, too. Do these checks every season.

Watch for changing behaviours. A switch in activity levels, sleeping patterns, diet preferences or weight loss may mean a physical issue. Misplaced items, forgetting names and places, and being unsure of the day’s activities might suggest some mental decline. If your loved one has become reluctant to leave their home or doesn’t accept phone calls or visitors, ask some gentle questions.

Treat your loved one with dignity. They may need your help, but they still need to have a sense of independence and self-esteem. Don’t treat them like a child. Stay patient and help them to process their emotions as they move through this stage of life, which can be filled with fear and frustration.

Caring for an elderly loved one can be challenging in many ways. You may experience emotions including sadness, guilt and anger. But making appropriate plans that allow your loved one to feel safe and satisfied will reduce your stress and help you to enjoy your time with them.

If you are an Elder and need support, call the Family and Community Wellness Centre at 204-484-2341. If you are a caregiver, get in touch with us to see how we can help!

Read the February 2024 issue of Mithomahcihowin for the full story.


  • PERSONAL JOURNEY: Make Physical Activity a Long-Lasting Habit
  • FAMILY SUPPORT: Provide Care for Your Elderly Loved Ones
  • COMMUNITY HEALTH: Healthy Diets Include Fruits and Vegetables
  • Get Your Greens In!
  • Understanding Domestic Violence
  • Celebrating Female Friendship
  • Let’s Get Physical
  • Learning about ADHD
  • Your Path to Wellness: Tuberculosis Program
  • Your Path to Wellness: BCG Vaccine for Newborns and Infants

Read the February 2024 issue of Mithomahcihowin