Long Term Care

"A Bittersweet Symphony" For The Sandwich Generation

Exposing the struggles and sacrifices of aging in place

Professional financial planning and Personal Support Workers seen as key to Canadians staying in the homes they love, according to a new report from HomeEquity Bank.

TORONTO, May 15, 2024 /CNW/ – HomeEquity Bank, provider of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, worked with Ipsos on new research to shed light on the worries of the Sandwich Generation – Canadians aged 25 to 65 who have their own children and aging parents. The research provides a fresh perspective on the caregiving crunch, focusing on the impact of this dual role on career progression, financial stability and personal well-being.

Nearly one-third of Canadians have made a promise to keep their aging parents out of long-term care. This shift in attitude mirrors a growing desire for parents to age in the homes they love, building on HomeEquity Bank’s previous research that showed Canadians 45+ overwhelmingly (90 per cent) want to age in place. However, the new study reveals that the Sandwich Generation faces significant concerns about keeping this promise, with more than half worrying about how to fulfill their commitment.

But there is good news, the study found that two-thirds (67 per cent) of the Sandwich Generation have initiated conversations, or intend to initiate conversations, with their parents about their aging choices, and 58 per cent have also had, or plan to have, discussions with their siblings. Furthermore, an encouraging 60 per cent of the Sandwich Generation have a plan to alleviate some of the financial pressures.

“We’re committed to reshaping the conversation around aging and raising awareness about the unique issues that retired or retiring Canadians face. That includes the often complex relationship between parents and adult children,” said Vivianne Gauci, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, HomeEquity Bank. “We knew the Sandwich Generation was under pressure but the research revealed just how worried they are. They want to honour their parents’ decisions but that can come with both stress and financial strain, underscoring the importance of planning and communicating now for the support and resources that may be needed later.”

Other key findings from the research include:

  • Juggling career and family: 67 per cent worry that caregiving responsibilities will impact their career progression, while 66 per cent fear it will affect their ability to remain employed. Balancing work hours becomes increasingly challenging, with 76 per cent anticipating an impact on their hours of work.
  • The financial pressure of potentially supporting both parents and children: A significant 70 per cent worry about the financial strain of supporting both their parents and their children on top of worrying about the costs associated with home care from professional Personal Support Workers (PSWs). Over half of the Sandwich Generation envision a future where they may be financially responsible for both their parents and children simultaneously.
  • There’s only so much time in the day: Outside of work, the Sandwich Generation faces the daunting task of dividing their time between caring for their children and supporting their parents. These time commitments impact their ability to care for their children, enjoy personal time, and even influence decisions about where they live. The related emotional strain is a concern for over half (61per cent) of Canadians.

When it comes to aging in place, past Bank research underscores the need for PSWs, however confirms most Canadians don’t have PSWs in their budget.

For the Sandwich Generation, 71 per cent believe they would benefit from professional financial planning advice. This highlights the need for support systems and resources to help navigate the complexities of caregiving and financial stability.

“The worries are real, but there are solutions,” added Gauci. ” The Sandwich Generation is so worried, but it can’t just be on families to solve. Through initiatives like our Personal Support Worker awards program and educational resources, we aim to bring the caregiving crunch to the forefront and inspire a national conversation.”

Alleviating The Burden and Providing Support

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) is hosting a webinar with HomeEquity Bank on May 29 at 1 p.m. EDT, where the Bank’s Chief Financial Commentator, Pattie Lovett-Reid, will moderate a discussion between HomeEquity Bank’s Vivianne Gauci and CARP’s Bill VanGorder about the challenge of home healthcare and possible solutions. Canadians can register for this free event here.

2024 Home Care Heroes Winners Combine PSWs and Family Carers for the First Time

PSW Day recognizes the contribution of PSWs in the Canadian healthcare ecosystem and, for the third year, HomeEquity Bank is honoring PSWs for the important work they do with four prizes of $2,500 each. For the first time, the Bank is also honoring one family caregiver through its Home Care Heroes Awards program.

This year’s winners are:

  • Genie Calamohoy, nominated by Fern Glicksman, is an exceptional caregiver whose dedication and compassion have had a profound impact on the lives of those she cares for. Trained as a nurse in the Philippines, Genie provided years of impeccable care to Fern’s mother, treating her with dignity, respect, and love. Now, she continues to provide the same level of care to Fern’s mother-in-law, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to her role as a Home Care Hero.
  • Elizabeth Suess, nominated by Les Coutinho of CBI Home Healthcare, embodies the spirit of a Home Care Hero through her compassionate and dedicated service. Not only does she excel in her professional duties, but she also forms deep emotional bonds with her clients, often going above and beyond her role to bring joy and comfort to their lives. Her selfless approach and genuine desire to help others make her an exceptional PSW and a deserving recipient of this award.
  • Elizabeth Posanso, nominated by Lee Grunberg of Integracare, is a seasoned Personal Support Worker whose decade-long service has earned her praise as a “wonderful, amazing, fabulous, terrific, expert, professional, smart, observant and kind” caregiver. As a Dementia Care Expert, she handles challenging situations with a positive attitude and enthusiasm, providing top-notch care to her clients as if they were her own family. Elizabeth’s outstanding service and dedication make her a true Home Care Hero.
  • Kenta Thomas, nominated by Carmela Terzo of Home Concierge, is a Home Care Hero known for her exceptional work ethic, dedication and compassion. Since joining the team, Kenta has consistently gone above and beyond to meet her clients’ needs, often working around her personal responsibilities to provide outstanding care. Her professionalism, reliability and commitment to her role make her a deserving recipient of this award.
  • Dave Violette, nominated by his mother Helen Foster, is the first-ever family Home Care Hero winner. Dave goes above and beyond in providing comprehensive care for his mother. From managing home and car maintenance to monitoring medication, his dedicated support allows his mother to live comfortably and independently. His efforts exemplify the spirit of this award.




About HomeEquity Bank
HomeEquity Bank is a Schedule 1 Canadian Bank offering a range of reverse mortgage solutions including the flagship CHIP Reverse Mortgage™ product. The company was founded more than 35 years ago to address the financial needs of Canadians who wanted to access the equity of their top asset – their home. The Bank is committed to empowering Canadians aged 55 plus to live the retirement they deserve, in the home they love. HomeEquity Bank is a portfolio company of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, a global investor that delivers retirement income for 340,000 current and retired teachers in Ontario. For more information, visit www.chip.ca.
About The Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 28 to April 3, 2024, on behalf of HomeEquity Bank. For this survey, a sample of 1,033 Canadians aged 25 to 65 (who have a relationship with an aging parent) were interviewed, of which 388 qualify as members of the “Sandwich Generation”, a subset of the population that also have children whom they care for. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 25 to 65 who have a relationship with an aging parent(s) been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population, and increases to ±6.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, among the Sandwich Generation . All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.