Seniors taking care of older people is not new, but there is a growing demand for caregivers as we continue to live longer, healthier lives and strive to stay at home as long as possible. Families are often challenged by the care their family member may need in order to age in place and look for a reliable, understanding person to step in when they can’t be there.
According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 4 of those providing care to seniors were themselves more than 65 years old. Seniors also volunteer an average of 223 hours per year, more than any other age group. Volunteering can help help older adults feel less isolated and have a positive effect on self esteem. To get matched with a volunteer opportunity, visit Volunteer Canada at www.volunteer.ca/content/volunteering-and-healthy-aging .
People-oriented seniors may want to consider visiting with elderly people living alone or delivering Meals on Wheels. For those who are looking for a little extra income, Seniors for Seniors matches older clients with companions and care services provided by someone closer to their age who will share common experience and “speak the same language”. Visit www.seniorsforseniors.ca for more information.
Younger seniors represent a wealth of untapped resources as caregivers for the aging Canadian society. The population over 80 is anticipated to quadruple by 2051 and as a result more and more focus will be placed on who will care for this rapidly growing segment of society.