Survey says: “91 per cent of Canadians of all ages and almost 100 per cent of Canadians 65 years of age and older reported that they plan on supporting themselves to live safely and independently in their own home as long as possible.” (Pandemic Perspectives on Ageing in Canada in Light of COVID-19: (Findings from a National Institute on Ageing/TELUS Health National Survey July 2020)
Other key findings include: “While 28% of Canadians report already having taken on unpaid caregiving responsibilities for an ageing parent or loved one, only 43% say that, if needed, they are personally and financially prepared to become a caregiver for an ageing family member.”
“More than 30% of Canadians younger than 65 years of age report that they have already taken on unpaid caregiving responsibilities for an ageing parent or loved one, compared to less than 20% of those 65 years of age and older. As Canadians live longer with fewer adult children, providing unpaid care for older persons will continue to become a more common experience for us all.”
“While 51% of Canadians younger than 55 years of age report that they have been experiencing a lack of companionship and regular social connections with other people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, 40% of Canadians older than 55 years of age reported feeling the same way. At the same time 67% of Canadians believe that a lack of social connection with other people negatively impacts their overall health and well-being.”
So we want to stay in our homes, no surprise there however access to much needed (publicly funded) in home help is very limited. I receive regular inquiries from individuals asking about renovation grants to convert their tub into a walk- in shower; or installation of a stair glide. Making homes more accessible is next needed step.
I think it is also important to not that there are certain times when remaining at home is no longer possible. A move to a retirement or long term care setting may be needed when costs and care needs exceed what is possible at home.
I help families look not only at their immediate/short term need and possible solutions but also we discuss intermediate and long term options as well. No one was prepared for COVID; however now that it is here, we need to be talking about tomorrow and the tomorrows after that.
Lesson learnt: Know and understand your options both for today and tomorrow.