Originally published in allaboutestates, Sept 9, 2013:
The cover story of the Sept 9, 2013 edition of MACLEAN’s magazine was my light reading on a recent trip to Winnipeg. There were so many key points raised in the article; I knew this would be the subject of my next blog. While I always look towards Canadian content, the journalist raises many global points that impact us all – regardless of postal or zip code.
Article: Canadians are living longer.
Reflection: For many it is an issue of quality of life rather than number of years above ground. Not so long ago, pneumonia was considered an older person’s friend. Today, medical intervention can keep us going for a long time. Choice is still not a choice.
Article: “80 % of all care is unpaid work provided by family members”.
Reflection: Families can NOT manage alone. The average caregiver waits 5 years before seeking help. Caregiver burnout is a reality that is costly to everyone.
Article:…”elder care is becoming what child care has been for decades: an occupational niche where the actual physical labour is performed by what historian Hartog calls “a global migratory workforce”
Reflection: More and more families want a caregiver who looks like their daughter. How do we encourage young Canadians from all cultural backgrounds to consider working with the elderly as a viable and positive experience and employment opportunity? I have my own ideas and would love to hear yours.
Article: Boomers should patch things up with their brothers and sisters.
Reflection: While this is easier said than done, I whole heartedly agree that family members need to be on the same page when it comes to a plan of care. Knowing a parent’s wishes and ensuring that Powers of Attorney are in place (for both care and property) are key parts to this puzzle.
One area that I feel requires greater coverage is the importance of planning ahead. Many families wait for a crisis to occur- such as mom fell down the stairs and broke a hip. There are many resources available and not all of them cost money.
I have recently had the pleasure of working with RBC and have created a new section on their Advice Website called Seniors, Finance and Caregiving that provides no cost, 24 access to a series of videos and articles that help families be better prepared for their caregiving journey.
Thanks for reading.