Two-thirds of Canadians can’t afford time off for caregiving: RBC Insurance Poll

The emotional, mental and financial burden of being a caregiver can be challenging at best, and potentially catastrophic without the proper supports in place. According to a recent RBC Insurance survey among working Canadians, two in 10 had to take time off work to provide care for a loved one, and only one in three said they could comfortably afford the loss of income if they were to take three months off work to act as a caregiver, adding significant burden to an already difficult time.

To fill the gap and allow clients time off to support a terminally ill or injured child or spouse, RBC Insurance is the first in the industry to launch the Family Compassionate Care Rider (FCCR) as an option for select disability plans. The FCCR pays a monthly benefit and gives the insured the flexibility to take time off work entirely or work reduced hours. This is the latest step in RBC Insurance’s focus on providing valuable products and services to help their clients. By making caregiving more flexible and easier to access, RBC Insurance is providing Canadian families with more options to better balance their work and life responsibilities.

“The idea for this option actually came about after a colleague, who found out her child had cancer, needed to be home with her for an extended period to manage the care and treatment schedule,” explains Winslow. “We’ve seen people unable to work or even manage their daily activities as they struggle to cope with their loved ones’ diagnosis, and we wanted to develop a solution that helps alleviate some of that stress.”

Financial considerations for caregivers
The emotional and financial toll on a terminally ill individual and their caregivers is immense, and expenses for end-of-life care add up quickly. Consider the following:

  • Living arrangements: Will you need to move, or make renovations to accommodate your loved one’s illness or injury? Is your home close to amenities, transportation and relatives (or others) who can help with care?
  • Financial planning. Will you need to take time off work, or even quit your job? Will home care aid be required? Consider speaking with a financial advisor who can help you manage your money both during the illness and beyond.
  • Benefits. Check with your employer to understand what your benefits cover, including flextime and any EAP assistance such as support for grief management and referral services for family caregivers.
  • Support. Depending on the illness or situation, connect with associations related to the medical condition. They can provide assistance in the form of specialist information and resources, and even support groups that can help you manage the emotional and mental toll.