The issue of elder care received next to no attention during the 2015 federal election. This is alarming as the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population is older Canadians (people 85 and older), most of whom are women. In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years of age; by 2000 that had increased to 76 years of age. The end result is the expansion of our population of older adults. This, coupled with the much lower birth rates means that there are fewer family caregivers to go around.
There is very little research on the effects of those combining paid work, child care and elder care. In response to this need, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) has undertaken an extensive research project on the issue. Dr. Linda Duxbury is part of a team that is conducting a National Survey on Balancing Work, Family and Caregiving. Speaking at a recent meeting of NUPGE’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues (ACWI), she stressed that in Canada, 80 per cent of caregiving is done by family members. The current health policy is to return patients home as soon as possible. At the same time, services within communities are being reduced or completely eliminated. The resulting stresses for working caregivers are not being paid attention to by policy makers or employers.
The survey is targeted to individuals (male and female) who are providing ongoing care and assistance, without pay, to family members who need support due to physical, cognitive and/or mental problems related to aging. It is restricted to those caregivers that are employed. If you fit into this category, we encourage you to take the time and fill out the survey - results will be shared with NUPGE Components.
To read more information on the survey from NUPGE, click here.
To take the survey directly, click here.