Tag Archives: care givers

The New Sandwich Generation

18 Mar

I know of a woman who lived in a nursing home here in Toronto. This woman was 106 and had dementia. Her adult daughter come to feed her mother lunch and dinner every day for almost 20 years. One day, the visits stopped and the daughter was never seen at the home again. She was simply too tired to continue her daily routine.  The daughter was 88.

The label “sandwich generation” may be relatively new, but the concept of families caring for young children and aging parents at the same time has been around for centuries. What sets this sandwich generation apart is it is  the first generation in which a large majority of women work full-time outside the home. This is significant because women are far more likely than men to assume care giving responsibilities. Also noteworthy is our parents have a much higher life expectancy than their parents. And with advanced age comes the likelihood of more complicated health issues.

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The High Cost of Dementia Care

9 Mar

I had no idea how much it costs to grow old and get sick until both my mother and late uncle became unwell. And having been fortunate enough to grow up in a country with universal health care, I naively thought it would extend to elder care. I was wrong.

Here in Ontario, the most someone with a chronic illness is going to get in the way of government-funded home care through the CCAC is two hours per day.  If your loved one required around-the-clock, 24/7, home care (which is often the case for dementia sufferers) and they don’t have long term or critical care insurance, the expenses can become astronomical. A personal support worker (PSW) makes between $15.00 and $20.00 per hour before taxes. With no more than two hours of subsidized care a day, the cost could be as much as $160,00 a year or approximately $13,000 per month.

Most people want to stay in their own homes, but it’s not always realistic. If  an individual’s only financial asset is their home, he or she may not be able to afford to stay there if they require around the clock care for any length of  years.

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