Female Designer Working At Desk In Modern Office

Two years ago Liz Rejman was ready to hop a flight to California for an important meeting, when she received a phone call from her elderly father’s assisted-living facility. He had broken his wrist.

“You have to make choices. Does work come first in a moment when your parents might need you, or do you change your schedule?” asks Ms. Rejman, a fundraising director for Pathways to Education, a national charitable organization in Toronto.

In the end, because the injury was relatively minor and she was assured her father would receive good care, she decided to fly out for the meeting anyway. But the decision weighed heavily on her. Ms. Rejman is the primary caregiver for her now-99-year-old father and her 93-year-old mother; the couple divorced long ago. Although she has one other sibling, a half-brother, he lives in another city and is not involved in the day-to-day care decisions for their mother. Her father just naturally assumes she will take on that role for him, too.

Many Canadian women who are juggling demanding, full-time careers find themselves facing similar expectations, bearing the brunt of caring for aging parents who can no longer live independently. While the number of women versus men caring for elderly relations is slightly higher at 57 per cent, according to Statistics Canada, the tasks themselves cut through gender lines. Daughters typically do more inside the house – preparing meals, administering medications, co-ordinating doctor visits, cleaning and laundry.

Sons are more likely to pick up outdoor jobs and home-maintenance work. Unlike daily personal care, most of these chores aren’t time sensitive. They can wait until the weekend.

Read more on The Globe and Mail.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Monster-in-Residency

Monster-in-Residency

When Carolita Johnson became a live-in caretaker for her 87-year-old mother, reimagining this new life as a multi-year writing residency helped her...

Tidewrack

Tidewrack

It was two months after Mum died. I would not meet anyone. I would not answer messages. I would not talk about my feelings. I didn’t want to chat. I...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.