Alison van Schie. Caregiver Consultant in the Comox Valley

My Journey

As a seasoned and recently retired social worker I value lifelong learning – taking educational opportunities to better equip me for my practice to provide appropriate, practical and professional services to my clients’ specific needs.  The majority of my social service career was spent working with families, thus I am no stranger to family dynamics and the need for nurturing and maintaining good communication skills within relationships. 

After working for over two decades in the Prairie Provinces, I moved to British Columbia and I ventured into the new and exciting role of working with seniors as a contracted social worker in a care home. I discovered this was a natural fit for me and I embraced working with seniors and their families.

However, this is where it became apparent to me that there was a gap in supports for caregivers.  When a loved one moved into long term care, I would see the caregiver experiencing a variety of emotions and struggling to process their feelings whilst navigating this life transition, for both themselves and their family member.  They had questions and were experiencing significant changes and losses.  Caregivers could benefit from having someone come alongside to help them with this life transition and processing their feelings; and with this realization, the seed was sown that I could play a part in filling that need.

I undertook more training to become a caregiver consultant and started Alongside Caregiver Consulting.  I learned about the phases and actions one may face throughout a caregiving journey and now as a caregiver consultant I use this knowledge and these skills, fortified by my social work background to focus my services on the specific needs of caregivers, in the Comox Valley.  When your loved one receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia it not only impacts them but it also impacts you, as their family caregiver, family, friends, even their community.  This is why it is so important to know the resources that are available locally for everyone involved in your loved one’s diagnosis.

Through Alongside Caregiver Consulting I provide professional, emotional and practical supports as a caregiver consultant in the Comox Valley.  I do the research to locate reliable and useful resources and network to benefit caregivers locally so they can fast track to relevant resources when they need them most.   My goal is to assist the family caregivers, recognizing they are the experts in their own situations as they navigate this uncharted territory, so they do not feel isolated, stuck or alone.

My Strengths

  • Assisting with transition and grief support
  • Educating and providing resources
  • Providing advocacy
  • Helping to prioritize your needs
  • Experienced facilitator
  • Excellent listener