Looking After Yourself When Caregiving for an ICU Patient

Looking After Yourself When a Loved One is in ICU The rest of your life does not stop when your family member is admitted to the ICU. You may still have work commitments, a mortgage to pay, a house to maintain, or other family and pets to care for. It is important that you continue […]

When a Loved One is in the ICU

When a Loved One is in the ICU Visit Your Family Member: Most ICUs encourage visiting patients with few restrictions. You may feel comfortable doing this, or you may feel frightened or unsure of what to do. The ICU health care team can help you feel more comfortable. When a patient is first admitted to an ICU, it […]

Learn About the ICU

Learn About the ICU An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a department in the hospital that provides specialized care for patients. It is sometimes also called a critical care unit. The health care team in the ICU has experience treating patients with severe and life-threatening illnesses or injuries. While your family member is in the […]

Honouring ICU Professionals

October 23-29 is Canadian Intensive Care Week. It’s a time to profoundly reflect on the tremendous service our colleagues working in intensive care have rendered to society during the past years of the pandemic and continue to do so under such adverse circumstances. I spent more than 20 years working in the ICU in Kingston […]

Do You Have ‘Fixer Syndrome’? 

I am a family caregiver to both my parents and my father-in-law. I value this role and wholeheartedly take on this responsibility to support my parents and in-laws in the final stages of their lives (for more on this see blog). As a critical care doctor, I am trained to diagnose and treat. I bring […]

Dying at Home

The tag line for the Plan Well website is ‘to live well and to die well, you need to plan well’. My mother-in-law provided me with a first-hand experience with the need to plan for final death preparations, particularly if you want to stay in your own home. She generally enjoyed a high quality of […]

How do you know if your loved one is receiving the best medical care?

Many years ago, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer by a local urologist in the small town he lives in. He was referred to a urologist in the larger center for consultation regarding surgery to remove the cancer. Working in medicine and having access to his staging reports, I suggested that radiation treatment or […]

COVID & Caregivers – Learn more about how NOW is the time for strong caregiver rights!

long term care home residency

The pandemic has caused a great deal of distress and suffering, globally. One of the reasons behind this is due to how vulnerable populations, such as older persons living in institutional settings were treated like prisoners and isolated to their rooms and ‘visitors’ were restricted access. As a result, many died alone, many suffered illness alone and many suffered medical errors because there was no […]

Is ICU right for you?

The Impact of ICU on people over 80

In June, I spoke with the  wife of an older man who has been suffering from COVID-19 infection about his wishes, to get a better idea of whether ongoing, prolonged Intensive Care Unit (ICU) treatment may be right for him. He had been admitted to the ICU back in May and remained on mechanical ventilation. Based […]