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Thread: Caregivers' health suffers in costly roleCanadians providing home care stressed by workload, expenses

  1. #1

    Caregivers' health suffers in costly roleCanadians providing home care stressed by workload, expenses

    Caregivers' health suffers in costly roleCanadians providing home care stressed by workload, expensesÂÂ*
    Mark Kennedy
    The Ottawa Citizen
    Monday, February 03, 2003

    Almost one million Canadians are providing home care for their own family members -- often because they have no choice -- and many are paying thousands of dollars annually in out-of-pocket expenses, according to a report prepared for Health Canada.

    The report, based on an in-depth national survey, reveals that many family caregivers are suffering significant stress because of the workload and their own personal health is declining as a result.

    Although it makes no specific recommendations about the need for a stronger home care system across the country, its findings suggest such a move would help relieve the daily burdens many Canadians face.

    "Family caregivers in Canada as a group appear to be coping surprisingly well with the responsibilities of caring for family members in their homes, with relatively little formal support," concludes the report by Decima Research.

    "At the same time, this role is creating stresses and personal difficulties, particularly among those caregivers who are also employed" who must balance the competing demands of work and family.

    A key finding is that the level of stress faced by family caregivers tends to be linked with whether they chose to perform the work themselves instead of opting for more formal home care services, or whether they had no option.

    "This finding is certainly intuitive, but has important ramifications given that close to half of all caregivers do not appear to have much choice in looking after ill or disabled family members."

    The report is highly significant in light of the federal government's proposal, as outlined in an accord to be negotiated with the provinces this week, to make home care expansion a key element of medicare reform. Specifically, the federal government wants to give targeted funds to the provinces on the condition that they would agree to publicly insure home care "for a core set of fully portable home care services for short-term acute care and community mental health
    services, and end-of-life care."

    The proposed federal accord says that by 2006, available insured services should include "nursing/professional services, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment/supplies, support for essential personal care needs, and assessment of client needs and case management."

    The plan would not cover people who are chronically ill. However, the federal government says it is committed also to introducing a "compassionate care benefit" through the employment insurance program to give temporary leave to people who must stay at home to care for a gravely ill or dying child, parent or spouse.

    The Decima study was conducted for Health Canada to fill in the "gaps in the current knowledge" about family caregivers in Canada.

    The study tracked the number of people who were providing care to another family member who has a "physical or mental disability, is chronically ill or is frail."

    It concluded that 3.9 per cent of adult Canadians are providing such care, which translates into roughly 933,000 caregivers across the country.

    http://www.canada.com/ottawa/news/st...B-CB24671BD6ED

  2. #2
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
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    I wonder how much money is spent on these ridiculous studies. Common sense tells you that it is stressful to care for a family member and even more stressful if you also have to work for income. Do we really need to pay to have a study done to come to that conclusion?

    The results say "as a group they are coping surprisingly well" and yet it continues to say "At the same time, this role is creating stresses and personal difficulties" and that "many family caregivers are suffering significant stress". Can you have it both ways? Seems contradictory to me.

    The proposed gov't plan omits the "chronically ill". Sort of leaves out a huge segment of those needing the services.

    What a crock.

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