We need to take care of the people doing the caring

As a WICA community worker, there are many facets of the job besides making a match between our protégés and their volunteer advocates.

In following up with one of my matches last week, my phone call was answered by a tearful family member who is the primary caregiver of her elderly mother.

She needed more help than the volunteer could provide and she was at her emotional limit.

I asked if she were willing to have her mother placed in a senior’s residence and it only resulted in upsetting her more.

The senior lady didn’t speak French or English and her daughter was trying desperately to make sure her mother could remain in the home as long as possible.

This wasn’t the first time I’d had to counsel someone who was struggling to take care of an elderly parent and it won’t be the last.

The Sandwich Generation

This is the sandwich generation; those of whom are in their 40’s and 50’s, taking care of elderly parents and raising a family as well.

As of 2013, the cost of accommodation in a government subsidized nursing home ranges from $1098 per month to $1700 depending if it’s a ward or private room.

Government subsidized home care provided by the CLSC is generally limited to 15 hours per week and if someone needs additional home care services, they may be eligible for some financial assistance.

More often than not, families have to resort to private home care agencies which could cost upwards of $1000 per month depending on the level of care needed and number of services provided.