I found some statistics on caregivers in Canada and wanted to share the numbers with you. This taken from a StatsCan publication – the link is posted.
In 2002, more than two million family and friend caregivers aged 45 years and older, 19% of men and 18% of women in this age group, reported assisting a senior because of the senior’s long-term health condition.7 In 2007, the number of caregivers aged 45 years and older increased by over 670,000 to 2.7 million caregivers. The proportion of men providing care remained at 19% between 2002 and 2007; however, the proportion of women increased by 4 percentage points to 22%.
In 2007, most eldercare (75%) was provided by those between 45 and 64 years of age.8 That also means that 1 in 4 of those providing care to seniors were themselves seniors. Nearly 16% of caregivers were younger seniors aged 65 to 74, and 8% of caregivers were aged 75 and over.
Nearly 6 in 10 caregivers were women (57%)… In 2007, 43% of the caregivers were between the ages of 45 and 54, the age at which many Canadians still have children living at home… Others also juggled employment with family and eldercare tasks, as more than half of the caregivers (57%) were employed.
The body of this Publication can be found at the Canadian Government StatsCan website: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2008002/article/10689-eng.htm#a2.
I can assure you from experience that a primary caregiver can be substantially out of pocket for their labour of love. Whether it is paying for adaptations to a home (and make sure you find out what expenses are eligible as medical claims – there are many!) to driving elders to appointments to absorbing the vagaries of dementia (my mother often wanted to treat me to lunch, by the time the bill came she had forgotten so I paid… many times) out of pocket expenses can seem to come out of nowhere. Very few of us think to budget for this added expense, and if it comes just as your children are looking at college, the financial burden can be hugely stressful.
Four immediate questions come to mind:
Is this possibility in your future?
Do you feel like you could handle the extra burden of time, energy, expense?
Is this your current reality?
How are you handling the extra burdens?
Four follow-up questions need to be asked:
Will your current employer give you a sizeable raise in pay if you asked?
Can you find another job that pays you significantly more than you are currently earning?
What down-sizing can you do to your current budget to offset the costs of caring for your loved one?
How do you feel about that?
My search for alternatives to a 9-5 with a fixed paycheque came after my mother went in to care, but my new business model has returned the financial equilibrium to my life. Click the “Work With Me” button at the top of this page and have a listen to my video. I am happy to share my experiences with you and, quite frankly, why re-invent the wheel? First steps are free so check it out.