Family Caregiving – it’s only a matter of time…

By Wendy Johnstone
June 4, 2019

Did you know that by 2030, seniors are projected to account for close to one in four people?[i]This will represent almost a 10% increase from 2013.  The senior population will increase in the next 10 years and those seniors will be living longer.  As seniors age (and by this, I typically mean over 75 years), their need for more support increases.

What does this means? You, as an adult child (spouse or relative), will be required to step in (if you aren’t already) and provide care and support when your aging parent(s) or spouse needs it. Almost 40% of family caregivers look after the needs of their parents and 8% care for a spouse.[ii]

Here’s the real kicker:

70-80% of care for older adults in the community is provided by a family caregiver.

Adult children start to see signs when more help is needed when an aging parent or spouse comes face to face with a sudden health crisis. This might be an acute issues such as a stroke, heart attack or a serious fall. Signs that parents aren’t managing as well can also be more apparent when signs of dementia start to become serious or when the effects of chronic illness create more burden for caregivers to handle on their own.

But giving care and support isn’t what you might think. Most seniors remain incredibly independent with living at home (or in assisted living) and with personal care tasks.  Often adult children or spouses don’t see themselves as “caregivers” because in their mind it’s equated with, “ helping someone wash themselves or feed themselves”.

It usually starts with smaller things – helping with groceries, household maintenance, drives to out of town appointments and more frequent drop ins or check in by phones. Other times, it’s responding to an emergency call or being available for medical appointments. For some, it slowly creeps up and one day they find themselves unsure if their parent or spouse can really manage fully without them.

All the above are considered caregiving. Period. And for some, it can mean they are caring for someone between six to 10 hours a week. One in 10 caregivers are caring for 30 hours a week.

From a holistic planning perspective, it’s always more prudent to get ahead of the curve rather than waiting for a crisis. Yes, I realize that’s like telling someone to get on a power of attorney, health care representative and/or their will right away :0

But when it seems like something isn’t quite right with an elderly relative or spouse, this is often the best time to take stock or do what I like to call a “regular eldercare check up”.

Doing one Navigating Eldercare 101 session yield benefits – it will either validate there is already a good plan already in place or it will light a fire to start thinking about the “what if” scenarios that can knock caregivers (and seniors) off their feet. I’ve get to have a caregiver or senior feel more stressed after a consult! Families are relieved knowing there are resources available and how to access them. They feel better informed about the health care system works, their options for independence and how to keep a good relationship with their family doctor.  

The good news is – family caregivers and/or seniors caring for a spouse or themselves, can book directly with us for the following services:

1. Navigating Eldercare 101
2. Personalized Eldercare Planning
3. Caregiver Coaching

If you are existing client, you can also use our online booking system to secure a time for us to connect with you as part of your service package.

Unsure where to start? Book a 15 minute consult for with us for FREE and we’ll help determine if we are a good fit.


If you haven’t signed up for our “not too intrusive” e-news, do so here! You get a FREE Watch for the Signs: Knowing When More Help is needed download. 

Our e-book, “Get Your Eldercare Affairs in Order” is a great resource too. It’s part of any of our consultations or coaching sessions or you can purchase it for $9.99.

Some additional links in case you want more reading:


[i]FAMILY CAREGIVING IN CANADA: A FACT OF LIFE AND A HUMAN RIGHT, Vanier Institute. 2017. Downloadable at https://vanierinstitute.ca/family-caregiving-in-canada/  

[ii]Statistics Canada. 2012. “Portrait of Caregivers”. Downloadable at https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-652-x/89-652-x2013001-eng.htm

[iii]Statistics Canada. 2012. “Portrait of Caregivers”. Downloadable at https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/89-652-x/89-652-x2013001-eng.htm

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