Elderly eighty plus year old woman in a wheel chair in a home setting with her husband
© fotoluminate / 123RF Stock Photo

A new survey suggests more Canadians want to continue living at home as they age, rather than move to a retirement or long-term care facility. For advisors, the survey serves as a reminder to discuss long-term care needs with clients.

The survey of 1,517 Canadians was conducted online by the National Institute on Ageing at Toronto’s Ryerson University in late July.

Sixty per cent of respondents said the Covid-19 pandemic had changed their opinions on whether they’d arrange for themselves or an older loved one to live in a nursing or retirement home.

The number climbed to 70% for respondents aged 65 and older.

Overall, 91% of respondents said they would try “to live safely and independently in their own home as long as possible.”

(According to the institute’s tabulation of provincial data, more than three-quarters of all deaths from Covid-19 in Canada have been among residents of long-term care homes.)

A shift away from institutionalized care toward home care doesn’t obviate the need for planning.

For example, StatsCan reported in 2018 that more than one-quarter of households that paid for home care services paid solely out of pocket (27%).

In some cases, relatively young household members are the ones incurring expenses because they’re providing the care.

About one in four Canadians age 15 or older provided care in 2018 to a family member or friend with age-related problems, or with a long-term health condition or disability, StatsCan said.

Of these caregivers, about 14% received financial support from family and friends, 8% received federal tax credits and 6% received funds from a government program.