A podcast from Family Services of the North Shore

Join registered clinical counsellor Valerie Dolgin and her guests as they chat about the issues, big and small, we’re all facing together. From heightened anxiety to pandemic parenting to finding joy in unexpected places, we’ll laugh and share relatable stories about what we’re learning – and our challenges along the way. Grab your walking shoes or fill up the sink and tune in for a lively discussion, including concrete tools and coping techniques you can apply across your own life.

Episode 5: Family Caregivers

Valerie’s guest is Janet Quenneville, the manager of our Caregivers Connect and Caring Connections for Seniors program.

In this episode Janet and Valerie talk about something that millions of Canadians are engaged in every year; taking on caregiving for an older friend or family member. Whether its driving your grandfather to his doctor’s appointments, or providing full time care for an aging spouse, the role of caregiver is often overlooked and sometimes under appreciated. We’ll discuss the many tasks a caregiver might take on as well as the symptoms of and remedies for caregiver exhaustion, and also, so importantly, some ideas about where to turn to for support.

If you are currently a caregiver for an older adult or realizing you could be stepping into this role at some point soon, we hope you’ll recognize yourself in this conversation. Our Caregivers Connect program is a way for you to reach out and meet others on this same journey. Ultimately, we want you know that you are not alone, and that there is help and support available.

Episode 5

Episide 4: Love Letter to our Volunteers

Valerie is joined by Michele Varley, our Senior Manager of Volunteer and Community Engagement, together they talk about the power of volunteerism not only to enhance our communities, but also to enhance the lives of volunteers.

We’ve referred to this conversation as a Love Letter to our own volunteers, and to all people who volunteer across the globe. This pandemic year has made clear the importance of seeing ourselves as part of a collective, and acting as if we are all responsible for each other. Nowhere has that been more evident than in the joyful, creative, passionate work of our Family Services of the North Shore volunteer team. This mighty group of over 600 people does work that is essential. In 2020 our volunteers gave over 10,000 hours of service and helped us raise more than $50,000 to buy groceries for hungry families!

Without our volunteers many of our programs would be impossible to run. Volunteers are an integral part of this agency’s team, and every day we are amazed and inspired by their commitment to compassionate, enthusiastic service.

If this past year has left you feeling anxious, lonely, sad or just plain unmotivated, we hope this podcast will leave you feeling energized and encouraged to reach out to us or to another local organization to volunteer. You will be providing an incredible service to your community, and some of those feelings of worry, loneliness, and sadness you may be experiencing will be lifted through your service to others.

Episode 4

Episode 3: Coping with Anxiety During a Pandemic

Valerie, our regular host, is incredibly passionate about the topic of Anxiety. For this reason, Val is the guest in this episode and interviewed by Julia Staub-French, clinical counsellor and Executive Director of Family Services of the North Shore. Together, the two explore the topic of Anxiety, specifically as it relates to the times we are living in now, with the pandemic.

They talk about how anxiety is impacting people’s lives now, people who may never have noticed anxiety before, and how it has escalated for those who were already dealing with Anxiety before the pandemic. They define anxiety; what it is, the good and the bad of it, and they distinguish the difference between anxiety and panic.

Finally, Val shares some tools and techniques that can be used wherever you are, to help ease your Anxiety.

Episode 3

Episode 2: Loving Your Body, Loving Yourself – During a Pandemic

Our guest is Joanna Zelichowska, a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has been working in the field of eating disorders for more than 10 years.  Together Val and Joanna talk about the ways the pandemic has affected many people’s relationship with food and body image, and some of the reasons why.  

We describe eating disorders as something much more than how many calories a person is eating in a day, and Joanna will offer ideas on how to start a conversation about disordered eating with someone you are concerned about.  We also talk about some of the ways we can be more at peace with our bodies during this very strange time.  

Joanna and the Jessie’s Legacy team serve the province of British Columbia by providing eating disorders prevention education, resources, and support for youth, families, educators, and professionals.

Episode 2

Episode 1: Parenting During a Pandemic

Valerie’s guest is Julia Staub-French, clinical counsellor and Executive Director of the Agency. Together they explore the idea that while circumstances have changed, the basic principles of good parenting have not.

They talk about the concept that parents don’t have to be perfect, and in fact, attempting to be perfect parents often means not attending to the unique needs of ourselves or our children.

Parents are asked to consider how they are connecting with their kids during this time. Are we “checking out” with too much screen time or other distractions or are we authentically engaging with the lives of our children?

Parents are invited to be honest with kids about challenging circumstances while maintaining their role as problem solvers and adult leaders in the family.

Finally, Val and Julia talk about the silver lining of pandemic parenting, the opportunity for children and their parents to experience resilience.

Episode 1

About our Podcast

Join registered clinical counsellor Valerie Dolgin and her guests as they chat about the issues, big and small, we’re all facing together.

From heightened anxiety to pandemic parenting to finding joy in unexpected places, we’ll laugh and share relatable stories about what we’re learning – and our challenges along the way.

Grab your walking shoes or fill up the sink and tune in for a lively discussion, including concrete tools and coping techniques you can apply to your own life.

Introduction