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October 10, 2021

Tired boomers struggling to look after aging parents: report

Caring for aging parents while managing their own lives is leaving many middle-aged Canadians stressed and stretched.

55-year-old Ottawa financial planner Judy Cane, for instance, is providing support for a mentally-ill son and a mother in failing health – all the while dealing with the recent death of husband’s mother as well. 

“We’re a double-stacked sandwich, a triple quarter pounder,” Cane tells the Ottawa Citizen.

“I feel guilty all the time that I can’t be there with her and take her everywhere she needs to go,” she says. “Ian and I went though tough times and we always said we’d get through this. It’s put a lot of pressure on our marriage.”

And they’re clearly not alone.

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Close to 40 per cent of baby boomers with children also provide some type of support to their aging parents, according to a survey by Credit Canada and Capital One Canada

These members of the ‘sandwich generation’ are typically between 35 and 55 years old — meaning they're not only caught between the pressures of their kids and their parents, they're also balancing careers.

To cope, 30 per cent are taking fewer vacations; 43 per cent are eating out less; 36 per cent have had to dip into their savings; 37 per cent needed to work more hours; and 38 per cent have had to cut back on lifestyle costs such as entertainment and social activities.

Are you struggling to look after aging parents while balancing work and family? How are things going so far?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...