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Grey Divorce and the Value of Home Care for Divorced Seniors

There’s been an increase in the number of “silver separations” and “grey divorces” in Canada. These are terms coined by the media for divorce after the age of 55, which has been on a steady upswing in Canada over the past decade. A 2011 report by Statistics Canada showed that 266,080 Canadians between the ages of 55-59 were divorced and not in a common-law relationship. It’s a pretty safe bet that the numbers are even higher now.

Divorcing later in life is challenging for parents and their grown children. Along with dealing with the sadness that follows the end of a relationship, there’s the reality of facing the golden years alone.

The Challenges of Grey Divorce

When you spend a good part of your adult life as one half of a couple, it can be difficult to adjust to life on your own. It’s not just about getting used to a quiet household and not having your partner to lean on, but for many it’s about handling responsibilities of daily life that you’ve never had to. Think of a woman who was used to the role of the traditional wife who did all the cooking and cleaning and the man who handled all the finances and other “husbandly duties”. It’s not an easy position to be in, especially later in life when you may also be dealing with other issues related to aging and illness.

The Value of Home Care for Divorced Seniors

Home care services can help make the transition from married to single life easier for a senior. While still allowing you to maintain your independence, an in-home senior care provider can provide as much or as little help as you need. Home care services can be catered to meet your needs and fit your budget, whether you need help with something as simple as meal preparation or require more advanced home care because of mobility or health issues.

Some of the home care services offered that can be beneficial to a divorced senior include:

  • Light housekeeping, such as washing dishes, vacuuming, and changing sheets
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Errands, such as shopping and accompanying you to appointments
  • Help with correspondence

Home care providers can also help with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and hygiene.

The Importance of Companionship

It’s not easy to go from having a constant companion to being on your own. This can be even harder later in life when your children and grandchildren are busy with their own lives and getting together with friends isn’t as easy as it once was. Seniors who live alone face a higher risk of isolation and loneliness, and the fear of being alone is a source of stress for many.

The importance of companionship cannot be stressed enough and this is another service that a home care agency can provide. Home care providers don’t just help with chores and the tasks of daily living, but they can also provide joyful companionship and drop in as little or as often as you like. This can mean stopping in for some conversation over a cup of tea or going for a walk or to the movies. Many who enlist the services of a home care provider go on to develop a strong bond with their caregiver that is often compared to that of a surrogate son or daughter.

Sometimes a friendly face or good chat really can make all the difference.

David Porter, CPCA

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care


Article Resources:
Marital Status: Overview, 2011. Statistics Canada.

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