I’m Talia and this is my caregiving journey

Portrait of Talia

Since I can remember I have been caring for my older sister Rachel. My sister is on the autism spectrum, has an intellectual disability and is non-verbal. Rachel and I have always been extremely close to one another and share a very special bond. Our relationship may not be the typical sibling relationship, but I would never change our bond for anything. I have been able to care for her in a variety of ways although my caregiving role has evolved as her and I both have gotten older.

When we were younger, I would help by holding her hand when outside and would spend time playing games with her. Now that I am older, I have become a major advocate for her needs and at times have been her voice. Being her sister, caregiver, and friend, I have always wanted to make sure that she is getting the proper care and respect that she deserves. This may be speaking to her program coordinator, doctor or even her teachers regarding her progress, behaviour, and happiness. Even though I have taken on the role of being one of her caregivers, we have tons of fun together! Rachel has the ability to light up a room with her contagious laugh, smile, and giggles. Everyone that meets her immediately wants to be friends with her. Rachel and I share many interests and enjoy spending time together. Interests that we share include shopping, eating sushi, going on walks, baking and so much more.

A few years ago, Rachel moved into a group home where she lives with a few of her peers and receives full time care. This home has been incredible for her independence and has allowed her to grow as an adult. Although I am away at school, she and I make sure to facetime and I visit frequently when I am back home. Even though my sister is not able to communicate using words, she has been able to teach me more life lessons than I could have ever imagined. I love my sister more than words can describe and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to care for her and I look forward to many more fun times that we will get to share together.

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