McGill
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Caregivers

Mrs. Chantal LeBlanc

Mrs. Chantal LeBlanc has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Sciences from Concordia University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from McGill University. She received a Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University in 2009. Mrs. LeBlanc has been a professional social worker for 22 years, including 3 years in a clinical supervisory role. Her clinical practice has encompassed the areas of home care for elderly people as well as adults with physical and intellectual impairments. For the past 6 years, she has practiced in the field of oncology at the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal.

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Ms. Bonnie Tompkins

Ms. Bonnie Tompkins was the sole caregiver to her late partner, who passed away from cancer in May 2014. She recently graduated in public health from Brock University and now works with her local hospice to help increase access to needed assistance for patient and their caregivers. She is especially interested in caregivers, as she suffered caregiver burnout. Her passion is to use her late partner’s and her own experiences to help people in similar situations, hopefully lessening their stress.

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If your employee is caring for someone with cancer, they may find themselves taking on many roles and responsibilities. These can include:

  • providing emotional support, physical care, and cognitive/informational support
  • acting as a medical researcher, financial manager, and advocate
  • facilitating communication with medical professionals and other family members
  • assisting in the maintenance of social relationships
  • accompanying the person to their medical appointments

The caregiving role may change over the course of the cancer and its treatment. At the time of diagnosis, caregivers may find themselves in “crisis” mode as they attempt to understand the full breadth of the disease. Eventually, most caregivers fall into a rhythm of care, which can be a time to focus on other issues including balancing work and caregiving, maintaining quality of life, and self-care.

As an employer of a caregiver, being aware of the sudden added burden can be helpful. The following sections can provide you with ideas on how to support the employee/caregiver.