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"Caregiving showed me that while I cared about my mother's well-being, it wasn't enough, because there was also dementia and this disease requires outside support."

Odette, her mother's caregiver until her death: Fall 2023


At the age of 53, Odette made the decision to become a full-time caregiver to take care of her mother, who was losing her autonomy, and who sadly passed away today. The hindsight of her position as a caregiver highlights the limits that a caregiver can encounter in her journey, despite all the love for the person being cared for.

Odette grew up in Ville Saint-Michel, in a difficult family context: she, her sister and her mother had to deal with her father's alcoholism and violence.


Throughout her life, Odette always took care of her mother's well-being in different ways. Her happiness has always been very important to Odette, who believes that she deserves to be pampered in the face of the obstacles she faces. ​ "My father passed away in 2011, my mother was 86 years old, she was very independent, but she was starting to have needs. In 2016, my sister got a job in Nova Scotia. My mother was 90 years old and I was looking for a job. My mother made it clear to us that she refused to go to a residence.


Having had a child and working full-time at the same time, I didn't want to go through that stress again at 53. That's when I offered to take care of my mother full-time. And that's when I became a full-time caregiver. Even though it has been a very difficult journey with dementia, I am very proud and happy to have accompanied my dear Granny until her last breath. Despite the fact that I miss her a lot. Caregiver showed me that I had my mother's well-being at heart, like a vocation, but that this vocation was not enough, because there was also dementia and that this disease brings a lot of pain to those around me.


At first, my self-esteem took quite a turn and secondly, it made me feel like I was capable of running a business because the needs were so varied. ​ I was isolated and alone most of the time from caregiving, as I stopped working to attend to my mother's growing needs. I was fortunate enough to be referred to the GASO and it was during group meetings and individual meetings that I learned a lot about caregiving and dementia that I didn't know anything about. And it's thanks to GASO that I can talk about them today, they literally saved my life. ​


The government, municipalities and CLSCs should make an effort to provide information on the resources that are available, because many people are not aware that this assistance is available, as I was before. What is very unfortunate is that there are no services like GASO available everywhere. Hopefully, this will change, as the number of caregivers continues to increase and it is a societal need that is needed. ​ Once again, a big thank you to GASO, with a very special attention to Stéphanie, my counsellor. »

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