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Mercredi, 5 novembre 2014

Care for caregivers

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This week is Caregivers' Week in Quebec. Some 300,000 people in Quebec take care of an older family member. Often that person has a long-term progressive illness, such as Alzheimer's disease. The caregiver is on duty 24/7.

Judy Ross knows about that. She's the executive director of Mental Health Estrie, and she's clocked more than 26 years caring for older family members, including one with dementia. "When caregivers are giving so much of themselves, sometimes they don't realize that things are happening to them," she said.

Things such as getting plain burnt-out. Maybe chronically anxious. Maybe depressed. Depression is insidious, Ross said. It creeps up on you. Caregivers are at special risk for getting sick.

So who takes care of the caregiver? Mental Health Estrie is organizing a special presentation about caregiver wellness in Cookshire this Friday. It's in English, and it's free of charge.

The project offers complimentary home respite care for loved ones of caregivers who attend the presentation. This could include direct reimbursement for the cost of hiring a person's usual respite provider for the afternoon said Ross.

"We've put the focus on preventing depression and anxiety, because that's an expertise that MHE has," said Eric Akbar Manolson. He's organizing the event for the MHE. The mini-project is supported by l'APPUI Estrie, a group formed three years ago by the Quebec government to assist caregivers of seniors and organizations that offer them aid. "Appui" means "support."

"This project is only going to give more tools to people," said Manolson. "We're not taking away from anything else that's being done by other organizations." Information about local resources will be offered during the session, as well as a short demonstration about using music to connect with people who are living with a dementia or other health problems.

The speaker in Cookshire is Susan Macaulay. She'll be "Sharing a caregiver's journey - through image, film and lessons learned!" For 18 years, Macaulay worked as a public speaking coach and trainer in Dubai. Then in 2011, she came back home to the Townships to care for her mother full-time. Her mother has Alzheimer's disease. Macaulay has been blogging her experience on It's an amazing, nuanced story. For example, she videos herself dancing with her mom, outside, on the veranda, and in the kitchen.

"I'm going to tell my story around caring for my mom and some of the challenges I faced, and still face, and some of the solutions I've been able to come up with on my own," Macaulay said.

Her presentation is on Friday, November 7, at 1:30 to 4 p.m., at the Manoir de l'eau vive, 210 Principale East, Cookshire, in the 2nd floor Activity Room. Parking is available behind the church next door. The event is presented in collaboration with the English-speaking caregivers' groups of the Centre d'action bénévole du Haut-Saint-François (volunteer action centre).

For information, or to arrange for support for respite care, contact Mental Health Estrie at 819-565-3777 or


An exhibition of artwork by Paul Poirier is in Bury until November 8, organized by the Bury Historical & Heritage Society in collaboration with the Bury Library. It's at the Bury Library, which is located at the Bury Municipal Hall, 569 Main Street (side door). The library is open Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

And at the Armoury Community Centre, 563 Main Street, three films by Paul Poirier will be shown on Friday, November 7, at 7 p.m. The films are entitled "Le 150ième anniversaire de Bury," "Fête à la cabane à sucre," and "Quelle chasse." They're silent films.


The Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre is hosting a "Planning Session 3" facilitated by "Learn Quebec's" provincial resource team of Paule Langevin and Emma Legault. It is on Friday, November 7, at 1 to 3:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. More info: The CLC's Facebook page:


For the restoration of the Saint-Louis-de-France Church in East Angus is a sale on Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donated items to be sold include furniture, books, kitchen accessories, bedding, toys, and decorations. The sale is located in the presbytery basement, 166 St-Jean E., and indoors at 185 St-Jacques Street, East Angus. Info: Marie Aubin Roy, 819-832-2589, or André Nadeau, 819-832-2315.


A Harvest Supper is at the Bulwer Community Centre on Sunday, November 16, at 4-6 p.m. On the menu are ham, potatoes, baked beans, salad, rolls, apple and pumpkin pie, and beverages, all for $10/adult and $5/child 6-12 years old. This is a fundraiser for the Centre. The Bulwer Community Centre is located on Jordan Hill Road in Bulwer.

The Bulwer Community Centre is also available for rent for parties or family events. It's got a good kitchen, tables, and an excellent floor for dancing. New rental rates are in effect. Info: Leigh Grapes, 819-875-3543.


United: Sunday worship is at Cookshire United at 9:30 a.m., and at Sawyerville United at 11 a.m. Tami Spires, Student Minister. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message or leave one).

Anglican: Sunday services are in Bury, with Sunday school, at 9:30 a.m., and Cookshire at 11 a.m. (819-239-6902).

Baptist: In Sawyerville, the worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French (819-239-8818).

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by November 10 for publication November 19 and by November 24 for December 3.

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