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​My name is Dee and I am the senior member of the Patient and Caregiver Council.

For 8 ½ years as my husband's health steadily declined, I assumed the role and duties of a caregiver all by myself. It was not always easy and I often felt frustrated and alone. It was an emotionally painful process for both of us. Things would go along smoothly for a time but then a new obstacle or problem would occur, changing his physical or mental ability.

In time my husband got some help through the Champlain CCAC—and I eventually found support for me too. As I learned to readjust, sometimes with great difficulty, I strived to see our challenges as a learning experience. Some days were so stressful that the only way I could get through them was to promise myself to turn that stress into a positive thing by helping others.

Today I feel good about being involved with the Patient and Caregiver Council, hoping that my experiences will make it easier for others. I have been surprised by the similarities that members of Council have had in dealing with continuing care. I'm excited about the progress we've made so far. Individually and together as a group, our ideas are ensuring that caring support and services are available to people in our communities.