Who will care for Mom?
Aging population and high demand fuel the growth for seniors’ caregiving services
Toronto, January 13, 2009 – For the first time in history, it would seem that Canadian adults now have more parents than they do children. One implication of this is that caregiving for seniors will be a high-growth occupation in coming years. Despite the depressed economy, all indications are that the need for caregiving for seniors will only increase in the future. It is already huge.
A newly released Statistics Canada study on eldercare says that some 2.7 million Canadians aged 45 and over were providing care for elderly family members or friends in 2007, which was up from 2 million in 2002. Most of these caregivers were women, and more than half of them were working. Thus, these people need help. Professional caregivers can provide it.
“The needs of seniors drive the demand for our services, which in turn, creates more caregiving jobs,” said Bruce Mahony of Home Instead Senior Care. “Surveys consistently show that seniors want to remain at home. As aging occurs, staying at home without help can become more difficult, which is why many older adults need caregiving assistance. Our caregivers don’t just care for seniors, but also care about seniors, many of whom are suffering from loneliness, depression and anxiety.”
Home Instead Senior Care is an international organization whose professional caregivers go into the homes of seniors to help them with such needs as companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, errands, palliative care and shopping. It has 21 locations across Canada, and employs about 2,500 caregivers from coast to coast.
The fact that Canadians are living longer and the population is aging propels the need for caregiving for seniors. What’s more, the first Boomers will turn 65 in 2011 and will soon need caregiving services for themselves.
“The potential for the caregiving industry is absolutely huge,” says Dr. Amy D’Aprix, Founder and President of The Caregivers’ Coach, and an expert on aging, caregiving, palliative care and retirement issues. “The non-medical, home care business is going to explode. Boomers come from a culture of independent choice and freedom, and as they get older, they will want to maintain that for themselves. Hiring an outside professional caregiver will let them do that as they age. Boomers already want these services for their own parents.” D’Aprix says an increasing number
of family caregivers are stressed out caring for aging parents, and that professional caregivers provide a “partnership” with the family in need.
“The goal is better care for seniors and less stress for the family,” she said. “Professional caregivers fill three needs – allowing seniors to remain independent in their home, providing emotional support, and providing family support.
The advantages of elderly care at home include (home helper services):
- Direct cost saving – A visiting nurse, home health aide, or personal and home care aide are all cheaper than a senior staying in a seniors’ residence or a long-term care facility.
- Convenience – It’s much more convenient to leave a hospital sooner when all a senior might need is assistance with their daily activities.
- Quality of life – The senior still lives in the comfort of their own home.
The advantages of a career in caregiving are that:
- The job is a viable option for those taking care of their own families, or for individuals who are looking for a second job in homecare in Toronto.
- It is a flexible career since you can do it on a full-time or part-time basis.
- The demand for caregivers will be high for many years to come.
- Education requirements are not high, so it may appeal to someone who is new to the country or to one who wants to put off their post-secondary education for the time being.