Compiled by Carol Wodak
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Last Updated Tuesday, May 28, 2019 6:26PM EDT
MONTREAL — A Quebec judge said she hopes the voices of caregivers struggling to care for loved ones are heard as she sentenced a Montreal man who suffocated his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife with a pillow to two years less a day in jail.
Michel Cadotte’s killing of Jocelyne Lizotte, 60, in her long-term care bed warranted a strong message, Superior Court Justice Helene Di Salvo said in a decision rendered late Tuesday.
“Whatever the motivation — and even in the name of compassion — the gesture must be denounced,” Di Salvo said.
Canada’s grandparents are a diverse group. Many of them contribute greatly to family functioning and well-being in their roles as mentors, nurturers, caregivers, child care providers, historians, spiritual guides and “holders of the family narrative.”
As Canada’s population ages and life expectancy continues to rise, their presence in the lives of many families may also increase accordingly in the years to come. With the number of older Canadians in the workforce steadily increasing, they are playing a greater role in the paid labour market – a shift felt by families who rely on grandparents to help provide care to their grandchildren or other family members. All the while, the living arrangements of grandparents continue to evolve, with a growing number living with younger generations and contributing to family households.
Using newly released data from the 2017 General Social Survey, we’ve updated our popular resource A Snapshot of Grandparents in Canada, which provides a statistical portrait of grandparents, their family relationships and some of the social and economic trends at the heart of this evolution.
- In 2017, 47% of Canadians aged 45 and older were grandparents, down from 57% in 1995.1
- In 2017, the average age of grandparents was 68 (up from 65 in 1995), while the average age of first-time grandparents was 51 for women and 54 for men in 2017.2, 3
- In 2017, nearly 8% of grandparents were aged 85 and older, up from 3% in 1995.4
- In 2017, 5% of grandparents in Canada lived in the same household as their grandchildren, up slightly from 4% in 1995.5
- In 2017, grandparents who were born outside Canada were more than twice as likely as Canadian-born grandparents to live with grandchildren (9% and 4%, respectively), the result of a complex interplay of choice, culture and circumstance.6
Canada’s first seniors’ community designed for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia is set to open in Langley this July.
Dubbed “The Village,” the project has a series of one-storey buildings, including cabins and a community centre, spread across five acres.
Elroy Jespersen, the project lead for the development, says he’s been fascinated with the concept of finding housing for an often-overlooked segment of the senior population.
The B.C. Care Providers Association is calling for the resignation of the province’s seniors’ advocate, alleging her relationship with the Hospital Employees’ Union leadership has been too “cosy.”
In a statement, the association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate.
But seniors’ advocate Isobel Mackenzie says she never did anything inappropriate, adding that consulting and collaborating with stakeholders is part of her mandate.
The association alleges that documents obtained through a freedom of information request show Mackenzie collaborated closely with the Hospital Employees’ Union leadership in shaping a report on the transfer of patients from care homes to hospitals.
The report, called “From Residential Care to Hospital: An Emerging Pattern,” was released in August and followed complaints from emergency room clinicians that some care homes were sending residents to the emergency department unnecessarily.
The association alleges she shared draft language of the report with the union, incorporated its feedback and notified the union of the planned timing of the report’s release.