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KathyI am a retired wife that was pressured into an entirely new profession at 61 years old. I have been looking after my husband — who suffered Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) since January 2005.

As a caregiver, no two days are ever the same. Some days are easier than others. Someone with an ABI can present as an easygoing person one minute, then a stubborn individual who refuses to respond the next. I am constantly "on duty", day or night.

I have a heck of a time keeping appointments from conflicting. Then there are the unexpected phone calls that your love one won't be able to go to a much anticipated respite stay the next morning because of missing paperwork. Trying to pin down who is responsible and getting in touch with the person above the one you are speaking to is a constant challenge.

Through all this, I became a very informed caregiver. When the opportunity to join the Patient and Caregiver Council presented itself, I felt that I could offer insights based on a lot of first hand experiences. There are a lot of cracks in the health care system, and perhaps—with the help of the Council and Champlain CCAC staff—I can help bring some situations to the forefront to make it easier for caregivers, including myself.