Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Canadians taking care of aging relatives


Five million Canadians are caring for a loved one with long-term health problems, and for one-quarter of them, that’s a full-time job on top of work and other family responsibi­lities.

Those are among the most telling findings of a report examining senior caregiving in Canada and the growing number of intergener­ational households with grandparen­ts, parents and children living under the same roof.

“They say that senior care is now the new day care because a lot of the baby boomers are starting to get older now. A lot of employees have to take time off work for illnesses that their parents are facing or for doctor’s appointmen­ts and that sort of thing,” said Scott Johnson, managing director of Home Instead Senior Care Halton Region, located near Toronto.

OnWednesda­y,thehome-carecompan­y released the results of a survey it commission­ed from the Boomer Project, a market research firm.

In Canada, one in four caregivers say they have no help at all, the report reveals, while one in four have paid help. The average caregiver has been at it for four years and devotes 20 hours a week to helping their older family members, and 61 per cent say they could use more help.

About one-third of caregivers (34 per cent) devotes fewer than 10 hours per week to their older family members, but fully one-quarter (25 per cent) spend at least 40 hours a week.

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