top of page

"It may be strange to say, but illness and my role have brought us closer together over the years."

Marie-Laurence, her mother's caregiver: Fall 2023


Each caregiving situation presents its unique challenges. However, delving into Marie-Laurence's insightful words reveals how these obstacles can sometimes lead to a (re)discovery of oneself and the individual being cared for. It's a genuine tale of learning and personal growth!

Marie-Laurence, 43, lives in the Saint-Henri neighbourhood with her boyfriend and a beautiful ginger cat adopted from a shelter.


Since 2020, she has been a caregiver for her mother, Denise, who lives with Parkinson's:


"I worked in the charitable field for a long time, so I had been around caregivers and yet, I realize that I didn't know what it meant. Like many things, you have to experience it to understand it better! » ​

How caregiving became part of her life: "I started being my mother's caregiver when she was still living alone in her home at the age of 79. Everything changed when she fractured her hip in May 2020.


That's when my role really began:


I felt it was my duty, especially in the difficult context of the pandemic. First of all, I became the bridge with the care teams and his loved ones. And once her recovery was complete, I took caregiver leave to help her transition to a new life because my mother would no longer be able to stay at home. For an independent woman like Denise, selling her house and car to move into a residence was a big loss! Unfortunately, his stay in residence was short-lived. Despite my help, the on-site services and the daily visits to the CLSC, my mother needed more and more supervision. Thus, with the recommendations of the care teams, Denise moved to the CHSLD Paul-Gouin in October 2021. I didn't think she and I would make it through and yet she's been there for two years. Although it is not always easy, I believe it was the best solution in our situation. Today, I visit my mother two or three times a week and every day, I have things to do for her, whether it's follow-ups with counsellors, managing her mail or shopping, but I no longer have the weight of day-to-day management. This way, I can continue to work and enjoy pleasant moments with her such as gardening, going to the cinema or walking around the neighbourhood. »

What she learns from caregiving:  ​


"Caregiving teaches me a lot about myself: my values, what's important to me and what I have to work on. I also learn about the health care system and the services available. Then I learn about my mother. I am still fortunate to be able to communicate with her and see how she communicates and acts with others. What patience and resilience it takes to live in a CHSLD! I also have a better understanding of who she is and what she bequeaths to me as a role model. It may be strange to say, but the disease and my role have brought us closer together over the years. » ​ What helps him on his journey:  "What helps me first and foremost is my network: my spouse, my friends, our loved ones, the caregivers and my work team, which allows me to have a flexible schedule. We have also hired two counsellors who visit Denise every week: a kinesiologist and a specialized educator to stimulate her physically and cognitively. They are essential allies for Denise and me! In addition, through my professional career, I have gained knowledge about the health care system, available resources and aging. These valuable learnings are still useful to me today.  ​ Finally, I would like to thank the GASO team. Our exchanges with Stéphanie, conferences and support groups allowed me to share difficult moments in addition to having good advice and a step back when necessary. Another great resource is the organization L'Appui pour proches aidants: a phone line where the counsellors have always answered my questions. » ​

What she'd like to say to someone starting out as a caregiving: 


"Here's what I'd like to say to this person: Have confidence in yourself. Be compassionate to yourself and above all, proud of what you do for your loved one. Talk about your situation and that of your loved one. Get information, ask questions: work as a team. Save the energy to get help (that's hard!) and learn (even harder!) to express your needs. Set aside time and space for yourself to experience your emotions. If your loved one lives in a CHSLD, joining the residents' committee is an important lever to assert their rights and stay informed of what is happening on site. » 

bottom of page