Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Paving a path for caregivers

  • Print
Caregiver Wendy Sutton hopes to provide support to others in the same position through her website and through presentations.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

Caregiver Wendy Sutton hopes to provide support to others in the same position through her website and through presentations. Photo Store

Wendy Sutton knows the run-around of being a caregiver all too well.

The Tuxedo resident has been the primary caregiver of her 91-year-old mother, who has dementia, for the past seven years. Sutton felt the process of finding health care and home care support networks, getting her mother’s financial and legal affairs in order, and even finding out her rights as a caregiver, was unnecessarily complicated.

"In the beginning, I thought her family doctor would help us. That’s not the way it went," Sutton recalled. "(My mother) couldn’t find the light switch in her apartment. She thought hand cream was lipstick.

"I wanted to discuss her memory, and he just asked her how her memory was. She said it was fine…He just looked at me and said ‘We don’t need to discuss this at this time.’"

So now Sutton, who spent her career as a teacher and librarian in the River East Transcona School Division, primarily at Valley Gardens Middle School, is helping out others after finding out her experience was common.

Sutton has launched the Where Next? Pathways to Elder Care website at http://wherenxt.blogspot.ca, which has received 18,000 views since launching in 2010. In addition to providing information she’s garnered through her own experiences, Sutton has also interviewed industry professionals to find out what information she should give to others.

Sutton also takes the content on the road in the form of presentations. She will present in East Kildonan at Concordia Village II (1115 Molson St.) in the multi-purpose room on Sept. 28. The session takes place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Register in advance at wherenext@shaw.ca or by calling 204-477-1387. There is a fee of $20 for the class. About a maximum of 30 people can be accommodated for each session.

"My friends were getting really tired of listening to me complain about this, because it just started to consume me," Sutton said. "I said ‘Why isn’t anybody teaching people how to do this?’ A friend of mine said ‘You’re a teacher, why don’t you do it?’"

Sutton said she hopes the website and presentations help to prevent issues from happening as much as possible.

"We just seemed to go from crisis to crisis," Sutton said. "For me, everything I learned, it seems like I learned after the fact. I learned from a crisis or from a friend."

In addition to helping the current generation of caregivers, Sutton also hopes the carryover benefits will include attendees helping to get their affairs in order to lessen the burden on their children.

"There’s a real need for us to be prepared. There’s a real need to start learning about all this in advance," she said. "Start the conversations early, and people can start planning."

Sutton said she will answer questions by email, but stressed her main role is not to provide one-on-one support, but to help connect caregivers with information and programs.

Facebook.com/TheHeraldWpg
Twitter: @HeraldWPG

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

How many Fringe shows have you attended or plan to attend this year?

View Results