The Force is Ageing

Originally posted

The Force is Ageing is the topic of today’s Mt. Sinai Geriatrics Institute. There is an excellent line up of speakers and Dr. Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System will provide the opening address.  Topics include hearing loss in older adults, technology and the role of robotics, mental health and dementia, consent and capacity and a panel discussion on physician assisted death. I will be the last speaker of the day and my topic is on supporting the family caregiver.

As this is such an important topic and impacts over 28% of Canadians, I thought I would share a few pointers.

  • Older seniors- 85 + are the fastest growing segment of the senior population
  • We have more seniors than children under 15 years of age
  • We are all living longer so more and more of us will need care. Longer term I wonder who will provide the care? We cannot rely on families alone
  • 35% of employed Canadians are providing care to a friend or family
  • 3 billion annually lost in workplace productivity[i]
  • Major issues for employers with both absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Majority of employed carers are spending on average 9 hrs/week[ii]
  • 10% spending more than 30 hours
  • Caregiver burnout and mental health issues are all too frequent
  • Important to acknowledge that caregiving takes two people- carer has rights too
  • HR departments need to be able to accommodate
  • EAP can offer supports re elder care direction and resources
  • Elder Care/social work consulting may be covered under extended health benefits
  • Planning ahead can provide options
  • Community resources, education and support groups are available
  • Don’t wait, speak up, resources and support are available

Lesson learnt: It is not if you will be a caregiver, but when……

[i] Conference Board of Canada 2012

[ii] ‘When Work and Caregiving Collide’

Leave a reply