TORONTO – Caring for aging parents costs Canadians $33 billion a year in direct out-of-pocket expenses and time off work, a new study by CIBC says.
The report also says that number will only increase over the next decade, as the share of Canadians aged 65 and older grows from its current level of 17 per cent to roughly 22 per cent.
Findings from the poll suggest close to two million Canadians, or 14 per cent of those with parents over the age of 65, incur care-related out-of pocket costs of $3,300 per year – translating into an annual cost of just over $6 billion.
But direct costs pale in comparison to labour-related costs, in which close to 30 per cent of workers with parents over the age of 65 sacrifice about 450 working hours annually – accounting for roughly $27 billion of lost income or foregone vacation time.
CIBC’s online survey was conducted from March 16-20 among Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists.
The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.
“An aging population combined with longer life spans and strained social services has in recent years seen more and more Canadians taking on the role of caregiver for their aging parents, and in the coming years, that tendency is only likely to intensify,” said CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal in a statement.
“Add in the fact that costs associated with the elderly are already rising faster than the pace of inflation because of the high demand for such goods and services, and you can see that this will be a major concern for a growing number of Canadians in the years to come.”