If you’re one of 5.9 million Canadians who are caring for an elder, try to remember the last time a physician asked how you were doing.
Actually, when was the last time you saw a physician for yourself? Or ate a proper meal? Or slept enough? Or didn’t make lists in the middle of the night? And when was the last time you had any fun?
The subject of caregiver burnout and how many of those millions are “invisible patients” is an area we all need to be concerned about. Given that Canada’s seniors’ population is expected to grow by 68 per cent over the next 20 years, we need to fix the long-term care system we have now. “Byzantine,” “splintered,” “confusing” and “broken” are how many family caregivers are describing today’s system — and they are worried. By 2030, seniors will make up 23 per cent of all Canadians.
Time for an intervention?
We think so and trust you’ll see why in our eye-opening feature titled “Who Will Help Mom?”
I suppose that, if these features share any DNA, it’s the power of the collective. In identifying our personal strengths, this issue is anchored in the knowledge that we are even stronger together. This spirit of inclusivity is showcased in Chris Carlson’s column in POV; in Barbara Balfour’s crackling piece about photographer Leya Russell, an alumna who almost died in a plane crash while travelling in Southeast Asia; and in Helen Sunderland’s first column as the new president of UCalgary’s Alumni Association.
And to you, the reader, I hope you see yourself in this issue because you, too, are part of this collective.
Here’s a replay of the chat Susanne Craig, BA’91, Hon. LLD’19, who won a Pulitzer for her investigative work into President Donald Trump’s taxes, had with Chancellor Deborah Yedlin.