My husband and I emigrated to Canada with a tiny baby and 2 little children. He set up an accountancy practice and as the children got older, I worked alongside him. They were happy times.

By the time we reached our 70s, it was becoming clear that it was time to close the business and downsize our large and remote home. I spent 3 years in and out hospital being treated for stomach cancer. The children grew up and moved away so we didn’t have much in the way immediate support. My husband was struggling with his mental and physical health. He was taking sleeping pills and anti-depressants. Then we discovered he needed gallbladder surgery – the other medications he was on had made this difficult to diagnose. Everything fell to me. I had to cope with closing down the practice myself. 

When out for a walk, I fell and broke my wrist. At the hospital after, a nurse noticed my husband was dragging his foot. He was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s disease. Our daughters put a huge amount of time and expense into helping us relocate to a more practical home in Ontario. There are local services that we benefit from greatly. And our loved ones – near and far – have been wonderful. But as our needs grew, I decided to contact CABA.

Asking for help is a challenge for people of our generation. CABA were exceptional – from the very first instance. They are respectful, non-judgemental, and very understanding.

CABA have done so much to improve our quality of life. They helped us work out a payment plan for outstanding debt. Caring puts pressure on a relationship when we’re tired and struggling to manage and CABA recognised how demanding my husband’s health was for me. They contributed towards the cost of a carer who visits twice a day to help my husband get up and shower in the morning, and get him ready for bed every night. I don’t think I would be strong enough to do that now. Canadian winter fuel bills are very expensive so it was an enormous relief when CABA helped us pay those. They helped us buy a wheelchair too. Now we can get out so much more and keep our independence.

But it’s not just the financial and practical things. They’re a safety net. It’s reassuring to know there’s someone there to chat things through. Only recently, I knew I needed to get my eyes checked and update my glasses, but it seemed an extravagant cost. I was able to call CABA and talk it over.

CABA are like having good friends on the end of the line. They are very professional and act with courtesy and discretion.

How CABA can help

CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please: