There are people who see a problem and run from it, and there are people like Paula Ramsay, who never give up looking for solutions.
Ramsay is a co-founder of Caregiver Brigade, a team of women dedicated to advocating for resources for caregivers for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members and veterans who are ill and injured.
“My family has seen its share of struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. When my husband, a member of the CAF, came home from deployment he wasn’t the man who left. I wanted that man back. Once I realized, there was no point wishing for a time-machine I had to figure out how to make things better. As a caregiver I had to reach out for help,” said Ramsay.
Ramsay credits the resources she eventually discovered for helping her and her family to live comfortably with PTSD in their home.
Along the way, she met other women who were also managing to care for someone with PTSD. Together, they decided to try to help other families, and the Caregiver Brigade was established.
Families of the ill and injured may become confused and frustrated when faced with trying to uncover resources available to caregivers.
The Caregiver Brigade team networks, researches and creates connections with helping organizations then adds those organizations to a directory of available resources on the Caregiver Brigade website, taking away that stress for caregivers.
“I think our team’s most important goal is to empower caregivers. We want to communicate with them, let them know they don’t have to dwell on the negative. They can reach for available resources and move forward with their lives,” said Ramsay.
The volunteer hours put into the project are long, but Ramsay’s dedication to the improvement of the lives of military families is strong.
“I volunteer because I think I can help people who are in a place in their lives I used to be. I don’t want them to hit the barriers to information that I did. The Caregiver Brigade is about advocacy and making sure people access information. Information gives caregivers support and a sense of control in their lives,” said Ramsay.
A typical week for Ramsay involves a very full volunteer schedule of committee meetings, virtual meetings, public speaking engagements, webcasts and travel. She and her husband also care for three busy children and three ‘talkative’ dogs.
To learn more about the Caregiver Brigade, please visit the Caregiver Brigade website.
Get More! Receive six issues of Canadian Military Family Magazine in your mail box for only $17.95! Click here to subscribe NOW!