Tuesday, October 21, 2008



Study: Caring for seniors

In 2007, about 2.7 million Canadians aged 45 and over, or approximately one-fifth of the total in this age group, provided some form of unpaid care to seniors (people 65 years of age or older) who had long-term health problems.

Between 2002 and 2007, the number of people providing care to seniors increased by more than 670,000.

A factor that will impact caregiving for seniors is the aging of the population. According to census data, the population of seniors surpassed 4.3 million in 2006, up 11.5% from 2001. Population projections suggest that the proportion of seniors in the general population will increase from 13% in 2006 to 21% in 2026.

In 2007, the majority of caregivers, 54%, reported that they were coping "very well" with their caregiving responsibilities. Another 42% said they were "generally okay" with this role.

Many people giving care to seniors are balancing this with other responsibilities, such as jobs and care for their own children. About 43% of caregivers were aged between 45 and 54, when many Canadians still have children living at home. Caregivers were more likely to be women who were employed and married.

In 2007, one in four caregivers, or about 675,000 people, were themselves seniors, and one-third of these senior caregivers were over the age of 75.


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