The financial strain of caregiving is more than $30 billion for Canadians and only expected to increase, a new CIBC report reveals.
The report, Who Cares: The Economics of Caring for Aging Parents, has estimated that caring for aging parents is costing Canadians an estimated $33 billion in direct out of pocket expenses and time off work. As the population over 65 is expected to reach 22% by 2027, this number will increase. Importantly, the cost of caregiving is not felt equally amongst all Canadians, and has a greater impact on women and those with lower incomes.
While the financial implications of caregiving have been noted in the past, the CIBC Report highlights the current and future impact for Canadians. This financial strain is not felt in isolation but may be one of the many worries that a caregiver may experience. When coupled with stress related to factors such as limited training and education, uncertainty about the future health of the care recipient, inability to manage competing demands, and managing one’s own health, the impact that financial strain has on the mental wellbeing of caregivers may be immense.
CMHA Ontario is committed to supporting the mental health of caregivers. The Living Life to the Full for Caregivers 55+ project is an initiative in Toronto that delivers an 8-week mental health promotion program to caregivers, providing skills and knowledge for coping with stress. Participants are reporting that they feel improvements in mood, ability to cope, and that they have met others in similar positions, helping them feel that they are not alone. To find a course, please visit: www.ontario.cmha.ca/caregivers-toronto.