FAMILY MEMBERS TAKING CARE OF DEMENTIA PATIENTS UNDER DISTRESS: CIHI REPORT

Jun 26, 2018

By Jane Brown

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Dementia continues to be a significant health issue across Canada, for those inflicted with it, and for those who provide unpaid care.

A new report says 402,000 Canadians aged 65 and over have some form of the memory loss disease.

And researchers at the Canadian Institute for Health Information say about 270,000 older Canadians were being cared for at home in 2015-16 with children or spouses most commonly taking on the role of caregiver.

The report also finds 45 per cent of family caregivers experience distress in their role, compared with just over a quarter of those providing care for seniors without dementia.

Tracy Johnson is the institute’s director of health system analysis and emerging issues. She says distress comes in the form of burn out or feeling that one can’t continue to cope with the demands of caregiving.

Johnson also says caregivers of those with dementia also take on additional responsibilities, such as providing emotional support, managing challenging behaviour and ensuring their loved ones’ adherence to medication.

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