Jeanne Tolmie, MSW RSW

Jeanne Tolmie View Specialties

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Jeanne has always been drawn to people.  This stems from close ties to family and strong values regarding tolerance, compassion, and respect.  She appreciates that family and kinship circles often weave themselves together into support networks; sometimes in healthy ways, and other times in ways that are challenging and complex.  Jeanne specializes in supporting informal caregivers of people with dementia. She regards this caregiving role to be largely unrecognized and misunderstood by society, leaving caregivers feeling isolated and unsupported.

Jeanne believes that people have unique resources and strengths and that these can be leveraged in order to move forward during challenging times.  She works with caregivers to create a plan based on needs identified by her client. This may include support in some of the following areas:

  • Troubleshooting challenging dementia-related behaviors 
  • Developing communication strategies
  • Navigating health/community systems of support
  • Strategizing around getting a break/self-care
  • Advance Care planning (i.e. Enduring Power of Attorney)
  • Grief, depression, loneliness, social isolation
  • Complex family dynamics
  • Transitions from home to a new living environment 

Caregivers of a person with a dementia have an incredibly difficult job that often leaves them feeling overwhelmed, depleted, and grieving.   Jeanne knows that often caregivers feel alone. Her sessions are a collaboration with the goal of bolstering confidence, building resilience, and increasing quality-of-life for caregivers. She believes that a combined commitment towards these goals offers the possibility that people struggling with dementia may also benefit in similar ways.

Jeanne recognizes that it is extremely difficult for caregivers to find and arrange time in order to have face-to-face appointments.  Therefore, her sessions are all by telephone. This creates the option for caregivers to receive support without the added burden of arranging for alternate care for the person with dementia - the caregiver can remain in their home during the session.

Jeanne recognizes that each caregiver has a unique history, a set of values and beliefs, and a particular relationship with the person that they are providing care for. She believes that paying attention to and respecting this diversity is paramount. Consequently, she works with clients on their terms to identify central ‘caregiving issues’ requiring strategizing, and then collaborates with them to create a plan to alleviate these challenges.  While working with clients, Jeanne often uses strategies from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and life-coaching.

Client-centred care is a core value that grounds Jeanne’s work. Diversity is embraced and inclusivity is central; she works hard to make her practice a safe space for her clients.  

60 min phone sessions are $110, 90 min phone sessions are $140.  Jeanne works with groups (maximum 5 participants) - she charges her regular rates plus $20 for each additional participant (a two-participant session for 60 min would cost $110 + $20).  All individual sessions are via telephone/Skype/Facetime. Group sessions can be via conference call or face-to-face. Scheduling and payment are managed through Jeanne’s website at caregiversupport.net.

Jeanne completed her Masters degree in Social Work from Dalhousie University and is registered with the British Columbia College of Social Work.  She has worked with caregivers to facilitate support groups, provide emotional support, and deliver education about dementia/caregiving strategies. She has also worked directly with people with dementia in an ‘Adult Day Program’, where she used music and psychosocial strategies to alleviate stress and anxiety for people with dementia. Jeanne is currently a Social Worker in Acute Care with Island Health.

These areas of practice interlock, offering her insight into the complex challenges involved in the role of supporting someone with dementia. She understands the multifaceted impacts that dementia has on day-to-day living and relationships, and has witnessed the frustration that caregivers experience when navigating various systems of support.


Jeanne Tolmie Reaches

Sidney BC