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Study: End-of-life care, 2012

Released: 2014-10-03

In 2012, 13% of Canadians (3.7 million) aged 15 and older reported providing end-of-life or palliative care to a family member or friend at some point in their lives. These caregivers helped the terminally ill with such tasks as personal or medical care, preparing meals, managing finances or providing transportation to and from medical appointments.

Providing end-of-life care was most often a reality for those in their 50s and 60s. About one in five of these Canadians reported that they had ever provided palliative care to a parent, spouse, grandparent, other family member or friend.

As with caregiving overall, women were more likely than men to have provided assistance to someone who was terminally ill. Over their lifetimes, 16% of women reported doing so compared with 10% of men.

Providing end-of-life care was sometimes done in the caregiver's own home. This was true for about one-third (35%) of Canadians who had provided care for their terminally ill relative or friend.

Some caregivers felt they lacked the necessary resources or abilities to provide end-of-life care in their own home. Home care resources, financial assistance, paid time off from work and home modifications were among the supports listed by the one in six caregivers who would have preferred providing palliative care in their own home.

  Note to readers

Findings are based on data from the 2012 General Social Survey on Caregiving and Care Receiving.

The fact sheet "End-of-life care," part of the publication Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey (Catalogue number89-652-X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Other related analytical products on caregiving and care receiving are also available: "Young Canadians providing care," "Canadians with unmet home care needs," "Receiving care at home," "Family caregiving: What are the consequences?," and "Portrait of Caregivers, 2012."

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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