Top 10 Ailments to qualify for a disability Tax Credit

The Disability Tax Credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit meant to help people with disabilities or their caregivers.

If you qualify, you can receive up to $8,416 per year (2019 amount), but according to many, figuring out whether or not you’re eligible isn’t that easy. Only roughly 40 percent of Canadians who qualify receive it.

The eligibility criteria can be a bit confusing for people applying, as well as the medical practitioners who have to certify that a person may be eligible. In fact, this has been the topic of many news stories in the past few years.

To help make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of 10 conditions that qualify for the DTC.

First, the DTC eligibility requirements

To be eligible, the person must meet one of the following criteria:

  • be blind
  • be markedly restricted in at least one of the basic activities of daily living, such as hearing, feeding, speaking, or dressing
  • be significantly restricted in two or more or the basic activities of daily living (can include a vision impairment)
  • need life-sustaining therapy

The person’s impairment must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • be prolonged, which means the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months
  • be present all or substantially all the time (at least 90 percent of the time)

10 Conditions that likely qualify

Every person’s situation is unique and no two people have the exact same experience, even if they have the same condition or injury.

So while this isn’t a guaranteed or even a complete list by any means, these are among the most commonly approved ailments:

  1. Blindness
  2. Severe hearing impairment
  3. Stroke
  4. Alzheimer’s disease
  5. Parkinson’s disease
  6. Kidney failure
  7. Diabetes
  8. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  9. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  10. Arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.)

More information on the DTC and eligibility requirements is available on the Government of Canada website.

If you qualify

The DTC can help fund the costs associated with a disability, such as home improvements to accommodate mobility issues. It can also offset the cost of in-home care services to assist with tasks such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and escorting to medical appointments – just to name a few.

If you have an ailment that affects your ability to function, it’s worth applying for the DTC.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

 

Article Resources
Disability Tax Credit (DTC). Government of Canada. (2020). https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/segments/tax-credits-deductions-persons-disabilities/disability-tax-credit.html
The CRA makes it so hard to get the disability tax credit, many don’t even try. E Alini – Global News. (2018). https://globalnews.ca/news/3956042/cra-disability-tax-credit-canada/

Study Shows Seniors Are Happier With Their Lives than Young People

Have you heard the old line about youth being wasted on the young? According to the most recent life satisfaction study, there’s more truth to that line than you’d expect.

Looks like in this day and age, Canadian seniors are happier than their younger counterparts.

What the study says

Based on the study released by the Statistics Canada in 2018, people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s had higher life satisfaction scores than people aged 20 to 59. Even better is that among seniors, life satisfaction increases with age!

The study examined nine different areas of life. Seniors were most satisfied with:

  • their personal relationships
  • their safety
  • the quality of their local environment

The study also found that – contrary to popular belief – income was not really associated with life satisfaction. And, 8 out of 10 seniors said that they usually had someone they could depend on for help when they really needed it.

Of all the domains examined, the one that seniors were least satisfied with was their own health. While Canadian seniors are healthier and more active than ever before, the risk of chronic illness and injuries does increase as we get older.

How caregivers can help seniors maintain and improve life satisfaction

Most of the study is good news for seniors and their loved ones. To keep this momentum going and enjoy the best quality of life possible for as long as possible, a safe and comfortable environment, a strong social network, and staying on top of health are key.

In-home care services can help with all of these things and more.

A caregiver provides a senior with someone they can depend on when family and friends live far away or are unable to help due to other commitments. Companionship can help combat senior loneliness and isolation through regular visits or outings. If mobility issues make it difficult for you or your loved one to get out, a caregiver can help with transportation to social functions, church, or appointments.

Home care services can also include home health care that ranges from basic needs to more advanced RN-supervised home care medical services.

Some of these include:

  • healthy meals
  • medication reminders
  • regular exercise
  • wound care
  • pain management
  • chronic disease care for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other conditions

Some other tips for staying healthy and happy

Here are a few other things that seniors can do to stay healthy and happy, longer:

  • Talk to others – never underestimate the power of a friendly chat!
  • Stay active, even if it’s just taking a short walk or doing some chair exercises.
  • Eat healthy to keep your immune system strong – not to mention your bowels regular!
  • Find a hobby that brings you joy and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Get a good night’s sleep to maintain good mental and physical health.
  • Try to get outside every day.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

 

 

 

Article Resources
Life satisfaction among Canadian seniors. (2018). Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2018001/article/54977-eng.htm

Here’s why having a spouse is good for your health

It may take everything in you to keep from putting a pillow over his head to stop his snoring and her nagging may drive you batty, but there’s still no one else you’d rather be with. So, in honour of National Spouses Day, January 26th, let’s celebrate your union and all the wonderfulness that comes with being married.

Being married is good for the heart

We’re not just talking about the warm fuzzies you get from being with the one you love, but actual cardiovascular benefits!

Studies have shown that married people have fewer heart attacks and strokes compared with those who are single.

In 2016, a large-scale study found that married people more 14 percent more likely to survive a heart attack and get out of the hospital a couple days sooner than single people having a heart attack.

Other health benefits of having a spouse

The health perks of marriage don’t just stop at your heart. People who are married are less likely to develop mental health issues, including depression. Married seniors are also less likely to suffer loneliness and isolation, which has become an epidemic among the older population.

Research shows that married people also:

  • enjoy better sleep
  • have lower stress levels
  • are physically fitter over the age of 60
  • survive major surgery more often
  • are less likely to engage in risky behavior, such as substance abuse or drunk driving
  • live longer

Staying healthy and happy, longer

Together is definitely better, especially in our later years. In-home care is one way to help ensure that you can stay together and enjoy the perks of marriage, longer.

Senior couples are among the best candidates for in-home care because it allows you to continue to live together, even if mobility issues and chronic illness arise.

A caregiver can take on some of the pressures of caregiving so that you and your spouse can age in the comfort and privacy of home. While we’re on the subject of privacy, it’s a lot easier – not to mention more enjoyable – to enjoy your private time together at home than when one or both of you is in a retirement facility.

A caregiver can help with tasks like shopping and errands, light housekeeping, and meal preparation freeing up more time for you to enjoy together.

If you’re struggling to care for each other due to illness or simply the natural changes that occur with aging, our caregivers can assist with more advanced home health care needs, too.

Oh! And another perk of having a spouse: home care is also more affordable when you’re sharing!

Happy Spouses Day!

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

 

Article Resources
The health advantages of marriage. (2016). Robert H. Shmerling, MD. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-health-advantages-of-marriage-2016113010667
Natasha Wood, Anne McMunn, Elizabeth Webb, Mai Stafford. (2019). Marriage and physical capability at mid to later life in England and the USA. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0209388
Wiley/Science Daily. (2016). Being married may help prolong survival in cancer patients: Varying effects by race and place of birth. sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160411101111.htm