Illogical care decisions are made because we don’t provide the right services at the right time. The unequal rate of the aging of the population across the country creates challenges for provinces to provide a comparable range of services. Some seniors live in isolation or in inappropriate homes because of inadequate housing and transportation. Current income security measures for our poorest seniors are not meeting their basic needs.

The current supports for caregivers are insufficient, and Canadians are forced to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for the ones they love.

The voluntary sector, a critical component in supporting an aging population, is suffering as volunteers themselves are aging. Canada is facing challenges in health and social human resources as doctors, nurses and social workers are themselves aging. Technology is providing new opportunities to deliver care. The Canadian government is both a leader and a laggard in providing care to seniors under its jurisdictional responsibility.

To read the full report, including the committee recommendations, or for more information:

By e-mail:
By phone: (613) 990-0088
Toll free: 1 800 267-7362
By mail: The Special Senate Committee on Aging
The Senate, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0A4
This report can be downloaded at:


May 7, 2009

The Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Caregiver Coalition urged the federal government to acknowledge and support family caregivers through the establishment of a Canadian Caregiver Strategy. The groups brought their message to more than 50 Parliamentarians during a luncheon held on Parliament Hill.

Family Caregivers contribute an astounding $25 to 26 billion of unpaid labour to the health care system, providing care and assistance for immediate and extended family and friends who are in need of support because of age, illness or long term conditions.

In a 2007 Pollara survey, 23 per cent of Canadians said they had cared for a family member or close friend with a serious health problem in the preceding 12 months, with 22 per cent of these people missing one or more months of work and 41 per cent using personal savings to survive financially while providing care.


May 13, 2009

I attended a breakfast to hear Adalsteinn Brown, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Strategy Division, Ministry of Health and Long term Care (Gov. of Ontario) speak. His topic: The Day We Stop Caring.


It was a sobering overview of how bad it’s going to be for elderly Canadians and their family caregivers if we do not face the issue of caregiving and long term care now.

Some statistics revealed from the 2009 Deloitte Canadian Health Consumer Survey:

  • 10% of Canadians report having a family member who requires constant care from a family caregiver
  • 1 in 6 in Ontario report constant care requirements to have a major impact on the ability to earn family income
  • 1 in 4 caregivers has no help; 1 in 4 have paid help; 61% need more help
  • The average caregiver has spent 20h/week caring for 4 years; 1/4 spent 40h/week
  • 32% also have children under 18 living at home
  • 15% of caregivers describe their quality of life as poor
  • 46% experienced stress
  • 14% experienced physical discomfort or physical pain
  • 15% report that people they care for are verbally or physically abusive
  • 19% were frail, disabled or needed care themselves