Who Needs Home Care?

By John Bauslaugh on April 04, 2014

Who Needs Home Care?

In 2006, 13.7% of the population was over 65, com-pared with 8% in 1950 and 11% in 1986. This will in-crease to 20% or 6.9 million people. Never before has Canada had so many people over 80 years old. Their number topped 1.2 million in 2006.

The number of Canadian centenarians rose by 52% between 1996 and 2006. The increase between 2001 and 2006 was 22%. The average life expectancy for women is now 82.5 years, compared with 77.7 in 2004. Two out of three person aged 80+ are women. One out of every seven non-institutionalized seniors, about 566,500, reported receiving home care in 2003.

The proportion of home care recipients rose from 8% among those aged 65 to 74 to 42% among those 85 or older. Twice as many older women received home care as their male counterparts. For both sexes, people living alone were more likely to require this service than those living with others. It is currently estimated that 2.1% of Canadians use home care services (1998-99 data). Seniors are nearly three times as likely to do so as those aged 18 to 64, with the highest utilization in individuals 75+ years old.

Poor health was an important determinant for receiving home care. About one-quarter of senior men and one-third of senior women with five or more chronic conditions had home caregivers.

Alzheimer currently affects about 270,000 Canadians and is expected to affect 780,000 within 30 years. Recent research indicates that this number might be badly underestimated.

About 80% of those with Alzheimer’s live at home with a caregiver. An estimated 4 million informal caregivers are active in Canada today (typically aged 45 to 64). An average woman can expect to spend 17 years caring for a child and 18 years caring for a parent.

The health of 21% of women has been severely affected by caring for a family member.

It is estimated that informal caregivers save the public system over $5 billion per year and do work equivalent to that of over 276,000 full-time employees.

Only 36% of adult Canadians have discussed long-term care plans with their parents and understand their expectations for assistance as they age.


Canada's Aging Population: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/H39-608-2002E.pdf

Foot, D. Boom Bust and Echo: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Shift. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter and Ross, 1996

Moore, E. G. M. W. Rosenberg, and D. McGuiness. Growing Old in Canada: Demo-graphic and Geographic Perspectives. Census Monograph Series. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1997

Health Canada. Public Home Care Expenditures in Canada by Age and Sex, 1980 to 2000-01. Ottawa: Policy and Consultation Branch, 2001

Age-Friendly Business® / Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA)®

Statistics Canada – www.statscan.ca

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By John Bauslaugh| April 04, 2014
Categories:  Care Giving

About the Author

John Bauslaugh

John Bauslaugh

John has been reporting on home health care and independent living for over ten years. In addition to extensive research, John writes on important issues from personal experience.

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