Balancing career and care
- In 2002, over one million employed people aged 45 to 64 provided informal care to seniors with long-term conditions or disabilities. One-third of male caregivers spent one hour or less per week, compared with less than a quarter of the women. Women were more likely to spend four or more hours per week.
- While the majority of low-intensity caregivers felt few or no socio-economic consequences, high-intensity caregiving had substantial effects for more than half of all women caregivers, regardless of hours of paid work. When higher degrees of caregiving and employment were combined, two-thirds of women experienced substantial employment-related consequences.
- The proportion of women experiencing substantial caregiver burden increased with hours of caregiving, regardless of employment intensity. For the most part, at each caregiving intensity level, higher levels of employment hours were associated with higher proportions of stress.
- Among women caregivers who had not retired, 21% reported that the need to provide care would be a likely reason for retirement, compared with 13% of non-caregivers. Among those already retired, 1 in 5 reported caregiving as a reason, twice the rate of those not providing care. Women were more than twice as likely to report this reason.
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Wendy Pyper is with the Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-0381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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