As the Baby Boomer generation ages, many Canadians are facing the challenges of elder care for their parents and they may also be caring for their own children, so it’s not a surprise that elder care can be difficult and stressful.

Still, you will do it willingly – because your parents have always been there for you and now you can be there for them. The questions you have to answer are these: How will you provide the care and support they need without crippling their finances – or yours – should one or both face the need for extended medical support? And how will you provide a potentially intensified level of care over many years without significant physical and emotional consequences?

The first answer is long-term care insurance. This is a good solution for those who want to avoid placing the burden for care on a spouse or adult children, and for adult children who want to ensure that parents on fixed incomes will have access to quality long-term care.

You may think that services like in-home nursing or personal care are covered by government health plans, but they’re not. Relying on government-funded programs can lead to a loss of control. The stay-home partner has little influence over where a loved one will be placed and travel can be difficult and costly.

Long-term care insurance bridges the gap by providing financial assistance for ongoing care services in the home, assisted-living setting or long-term care facility. Depending on the type of plan, long-term care funds can be used to pay for eligible services for the person receiving the care or to provide a regular income that can be used for any purpose, including caregiving by family members.

The second answer is to protect your physical and emotional health. Long-term care insurance can alleviate financial stress but, as a primary caregiver, you may still stress your mental and physical health to the breaking point over time. Signs of an over-achieving caregiver include going for weeks without a break, feeling exhausted, feeling anxious, having no time for hobbies and bottling up fears, guilt and anger.

If that should happen to you, reach out to a family physician, family members, friends and community support services, or visit
Then talk to your professional advisor about using long-term care insurance to bridge financial and emotional gaps and protect your family’s well-being.

This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Quebec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. 

Contact David Brown at 250-315-0241 or at [email protected] to book your appointment.