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Role Reversal – The New Reality

Our parents raised us; we moved out, had children of our own and raised them. Then our children moved out and had children of their own to raise. It was supposed to stop there for us, but then one day we had to look after one or both of our parents.

According to a 2020 Federal Government report1, 25% of Canadians 15 years or older provide long term care to a family member. According to the Long-Term Care Planning Network we may spend as many years caring for a parent as we did rearing a child.

How can you tell if a loved one needs care support?

Some signs to look for are:

  • Often dressing inappropriately
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Becoming reclusive or anti-social
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bruises and other signs of falls or injuries
  • Unopened mail or overdue bills
  • Laundry piling up
  • Burned pots on stove

Our lives seem to get busier and busier every year.

Maybe the last thing we think about is if our parents need help. But one day the help may be needed by us. It’s important to plan for these events. The first step is to have a conversation that deals with the tough questions, like:

  • What plans are in place for care needs?
  • Who will be the primary care giver and who will support them?
  • Who are the designated financial and health care powers of attorney?
  • How will long-term care costs be met?
  • Is there a health benefits plan or long-term care insurance policy that can offset the care costs?
  • What is the parents’ income and from what sources?
  • Will you be comfortable with the role of caregiver? Will your spouse or partner be supportive? Discuss this with siblings.

Many people believe that employee group plans cover long-term care costs. This is generally untrue.

An extended stay in a facility can be very expensive. Retirement savings can be obliterated very quickly unless there is another source of money. A caregiver’s financial future can be jeopardized if they need to help out with long-term care costs.

Depending on the type of accommodations and whether a long-term care facility is government subsidized and or private the costs across Canada can vary between $1000 and $5000 monthly. And these costs are not showing any signs of decreasing.

If you haven’t factored the cost of long-term care into your retirement financial plans, isn’t it time you did?

1 Support received by caregivers in Canada


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Copyright © AdvisorNet Communications Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific financial advice. It is strongly recommended that the reader seek qualified professional advice before making any financial decisions based on anything discussed in this article. This article is not to be copied or republished in any format for any reason without the written permission of publisher. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy of the information and is not liable in any way for any error or omission.