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The Growing Burden of Unpaid Senior Care in Canada

Seniors now outnumber children in Canada and with the baby boomer population booming, there are more seniors than ever requiring care. While Canada certainly offers some options for senior care, more and more family members and friends are taking on the responsibilities of caregiving, often whether they’re financially or emotionally able to or not.

Family Caregivers in Ontario – The Surprising Stats

There’s nothing most people wouldn’t do for their loved ones and many are happy to step up to the plate to look after their aging parents and grandparents. Unfortunately, few realize the financial and emotional burden of providing elderly care for a family member.

The following are some eye-opening statistics from the most recent General Social Survey by Statistics Canada:

  • Approximately 3.3 million Ontarians are family caregivers.
  • 5 million caregivers are juggling caregiving and paid employment
  • 29 percent of those balancing work and caregiving have missed an average of 6 days and 30 percent have been late or had to leave work early because of caregiving duties.
  • 15 percent of family caregivers had to cut down work hours to accommodate the caregiving needs of a loved one.
  • Almost 3 in 10 family caregivers perform medical treatments, such as injections, tube feedings, and wound care.
  • 1 percent (33, 000) left their jobs voluntarily or involuntarily because of caregiving duties.

For many, providing elderly care for loved ones means having to deal with significant additional stress, change their jobs, turndown promotions, or even forget about pursuing other opportunities because of caregiving. Sadly, one million of those surveyed admitted that they felt they had no choice in taking on the role of caregiver. So, along with the obvious financial implications comes the emotional toll and inevitable resentment of being in this position. It’s not in any way a reflection of how they feel about their loved ones, of course; is simply not an easy position to be in no matter how much you love someone.

For the person receiving care, feeling as if you’re burdening your child or grandchild isn’t easy either. This is why enlisting home care assistance is so important for you and for them.

Some of Our Clients Get Personal

The following are examples of the burden of family caregiving at play provided by some of our clients.

Muffy R. (Daughter)

“Even as a single father, dad made sure I always had everything I needed growing up, even working two jobs to pay for university and teacher’s college.  His heart attack in my second year teaching really slowed him down. I took time off to help him recover from surgery, but he hasn’t been the same. Three years of trying to juggle teaching and caring for dad resulted in having to turn down a promotion to Vice Principle at my school and eventually stress leave for me. My dad didn’t want to go to any of the living assisted facilities near me and I didn’t think his pension and my pay would be enough to cover private home care. I’m so glad I called Living Assistance Services on a whim after an especially stressful day! Being able to pick only the home care services he actually needs and occasional respite care for me to attend work functions has given me my life back. I’m so grateful.”

Todd S. (Grandson)

“My Papa helped raise me when my dad left and when he got older and sick I had to take turns with my mom and sister taking care of him. I don’t mind doing it most of the time because I love him so much and I don’t complain because he always took care of me, but this year it’s been hard. Hockey is my life and I was supposed to go away to All Star hockey camp for March Break and was so excited, but when we were trying to plan it all out, my mom told me there was no way I could go because she couldn’t take more time off work to take care of Papa and my sister couldn’t do it all alone. I know it’s not his fault but I was so upset with him for a while. Now that mom has your caregiver coming to help it’s been so much easier for us. We’re already planning how she can help next year so I can go to hockey camp and even Papa seems happier. Thank you so much from my mom, sister, Papa and me.”

Give us a call to learn more about the home care services we offer. Home health care services and respite care for the caregiver can ease the burden of family home care.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

Article Resources:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-652-x/89-652-x2013001-eng.htm#a17

 

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