The Strains of Caregiving on Canadian Families

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A recent study sponsored by Amgen Canada concludes that Canadian families responsible for the care of a chronically ill loved one need more help than currently offered by the healthcare system. Some very sobering statistics were discovered from the research conducted by the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research and the Canadian Association for Retired Persons.

Four out of five Canadians feel overwhelmed by some aspect of the current healthcare system. Three out of every five Canadians over the age of 20 are dealing with the challenge of having a chronic disease. And four out of every five Canadians view caregiving responsibilities for the chronically ill as being an extremely difficult challenge.

It’s estimated that there are more than 8 million Canadians who serve as family caregivers and who are in desperate need of more support. Not only is the number of chronically sick seniors increasing as the overall population ages, more individuals are being affected by a medical condition classified as chronic.

Furthermore, family caregivers must often quit their employment in order to provide the around the clock live-in home care that their aging loved one requires, creating a financial strain. Others have to reduce their time on the job, in addition to using more of their financial resources to cover caregiving and its associated costs.

Until the healthcare system undergoes changes that address caregiver strain and burnout, there are three key things that Canadian families can do to help alleviate caregiving strain.

  1. Caregivers should ask for help from others in providing periodic breaks, because even a short respite from dealing with a sick family member can help the caregiver recharge. There are many local resources and agencies that can provide part-time hourly care in Caledon or 24 hour care such as Home Care Assistance.
  1. Caregivers can network with others in support groups. Along with in-person support groups and meetings, there are many online support groups that are designed specifically for those who are caring for a senior with a specific condition such as dementia or Parkinson’s. Sharing your experiences with others and getting advice can be a great way to overcome feelings of stress and even frustration.
  1. Caregivers benefit from setting aside one hour daily to pursue their own hobbies and interests in order to stay mentally healthy. Caregivers should never feel selfish for attending to their own needs. A healthy caregiver means that the quality of care being provided is at optimal levels.

For more information about respite care, reach out to Home Care Assistance today. We are proud to provide the home care Caledon seniors and families trust and are available to discuss care needs or have a conversation twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Call us today at 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager.