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Balancing work and caregiving

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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Caregiving can be a full-time occupation, even if the caregiver already has a full-time job. Despite competing demands, many cancer caregivers find that paid employment provides opportunities to connect with colleagues and friends, focus on something other than caregiving and get involved in interesting and challenging projects. What’s more, employment income can be important to help them meet their financial obligations.

As an employer, if you feel comfortable, talk to your employee to see what needs they might have. This can often help them to stay engaged and productive with the company. Also, caregivers are often forgotten about, so check in with them. Checking in can provide much needed support.