Nearly all Canadians aged 45 and older want to age at home

While many people like the notion of aging in place, majority of poll respondents need to adjust budget to afford in-home care

Nearly all Canadians aged 45 and older want to age at home

A joint poll of Canadians aged 45 and above conducted by HomeEquity Bank and Ipsos to commemorate Personal Support Workers (PSW) Day sheds light on Canadians’ attitudes about home care – and how they expect to pay for it in the future.

According to the study, 95% of Canadian individuals aged 45 and up agree – with 57% strongly agreeing, and 38% agreeing somewhat – that aging in place would allow them to keep their independence, comfort, and dignity.

As a result, 92% believe (52% strongly/40% slightly) that in-home care is preferable to going to a long-term care facility as they get older. Only if they couldn't afford in-home care would they consider long-term care or assisted living, according to eight out of ten people (79%) (25% strongly/53% moderately).

Only 12% of respondents said they had enough money in their budget for in-home care, which can cost anywhere from $150 to $600 per day, according to the survey.

While the idea of aging in place appeals to many people, the cost of in-home care may need some financial modifications.

When asked what they would eliminate from their budget to pay for a personal care worker, respondents said they would consider a number of financial sacrifices, including spending less on vacation and entertainment (63%); reviewing their home renovation budget (50%); changing plans in order to leave a legacy for family (42%); adjusting food and living costs (23%); changing their budget for paying off debt (17%); and reconsidering their budget for expensive medications (13%).

“It's shocking to think that in a country like Canada, the aging population think they will need to choose between medicine and staying in the home and community they love but that's what 13 per cent say they'd consider doing to afford home care that would allow them to maintain their independence, comfort and dignity,” said Bill VanGorder, Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). “I am asking the federal and provincial governments to make affordable home care accessible now.”

“Canadians who want to age in-place shouldn't be choosing between food and living expenses or having the support of PSWs, something 23 per cent told us was a consideration,” said Steven Ranson, President and CEO of HomeEquity Bank. “The importance of helping ageing Canadians access affordable in-home care from personal support workers cannot be overstated as our population ages.”