Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Caring for a parent who lives far away: the consequences

Women take more time off to care for ailing parents

'Statscan study also finds that Canadians who live farther away tend to incur more expenses.'
I hate to say 'I told you so', but how obvious is this?
Note: The survey covered about 23,000 Canadians aged 45 and over, and living in private residences in the 10 provinces. This article provides a statistical profile of caregivers who live far from their parent and compares them with caregivers who live close by. It also examines the financial, social and work schedule impacts associated with living relatively far from the care recipient.

Women are more likely than men to take time off work to care for an aging parent, according to a new Statistics Canada study.
  • Canadians who live farther away from their parent or mother- or father-in-law are more likely to incur extra expenses or miss full days of work.
  • About 1.65 million people aged 45 and older helped a parent with a long-term health problem or physical limitation in 2007. 
  • About 22 per cent, or 360,000 people, provided assistance to a parent who lived at least an hour's drive away.
  • In 2007, about 1.65 million people aged 45 and over provided assistance or care to a parent or a mother- or father-in-law who suffered from a long-term health problem or physical limitation. Roughly 360,000 of these individuals, or 22%, provided help to a parent, even though the individual receiving care lived at least an hour away by car.
Financial Impact
  • About 62% of caregivers who travel to visit ailing parents incurred extra expenses as a result of the assistance they provided. This was twice the proportion among those living in the same neighbourhood as the parent receiving care (30%).
  • You are 3x's more likely to have additional expenses living more than 4 hours away
  • Of these people, 40% missed full days of work (compares with 28% of those living in the same neighbourhood).
  • Women were more likely: 46% of women missed full days of work to provide care, compared with 27% of men. 
The article "Caring for a parent who lives far away: the consequences" is now available in the January 2010 online issue of Canadian Social Trends, no. 89 (11-008-X, free), available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

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