Alison van Schie. Caregiver Consultant in the Comox Valley

My Journey

As a seasoned and recently retired social worker I value lifelong learning. I take educational opportunities that better equip me for my practice. I 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. 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 there was a gap in supports for caregivers.  I would see that when a loved one moved into long term care, the caregiver was experiencing a variety of emotions. Often they were struggling to process their feelings whilst navigating this life transition, for both themselves and their family member.  They were experiencing significant changes and losses.  They had questions that needed answering.

Caregivers could benefit from someone coming alongside to help them with this life transition. Someone to help them process their feelings and answer their questions.  With this realization, the seed was sown.  I realized that I could play a part in filling that need.

I undertook more training and became a caregiver consultant. I started my business – Alongside Caregiver Consulting.  I learned about the phases of caregiving. I learned about actions to take and questions to ask specific to each phase. Now as a caregiver consultant I combine this knowledge and these skills, with my social work background. I tailor my services to 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. It impacts you as their caregiver, along with other family members, friends, and 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 for you – locating reliable and appropriate resources. I network locally to fast track caregivers to relevant resources when you need them most.   My goal is to assist family caregivers, recognizing you are the experts in your own situations navigating this uncharted territory. I do this to help you 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