The Costs Of Caring: Innovative RBC Planning Tool Helps
Canadians Assess Impact of Informal Caregiving
RBC Your CareGiving Planner evaluates emotional, financial
TORONTO, June 7, 2011 To assist the growing
number of Canadians who are providing care for aging relatives
and friends, RBC has introduced an innovative online planner
that assesses the emotional and financial impacts of informal
caregiving. The RBC Your CareGiving Planner, developed by
Retirement Research Centre at the University of Waterloo,
is an interactive resource that helps Canadians evaluate their
caregiving needs on an ongoing basis, and produces an individualized
report to help manage those needs.
Your CareGiving Planner asks a series of questions
to explore what type of care is required now and in the future.
The customized report produced by the planner can be shared
with family, friends and trusted advisors, to help caregivers
- as well as those needing care - be better prepared as changing
health conditions affect the level of care required.
"Providing informal care to a loved one is something
that many of us will find ourselves doing in our middle or
later years in life," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement
Strategies, RBC. "Our planner gives Canadians the chance
to explore different caregiving scenarios to see what their
lives as caregivers could look like - and better prepare for
the emotional and practical impact."
The planner asks a range of questions, including:
- Does the person needing care require assistance with tasks
such as walking or eating?
- Are there any indications of consistent memory problems
or increasing inability to make decisions?
- Does this person have any difficulties managing medications?
- Will extra money be needed for home modifications, relocation,
respite care or assistive devices?
- Is the informal caregiver employed?
- Is the informal caregiver feeling depressed or socially
Based on the responses, the planner ranks the weekly needs
of the person requiring care from low (requiring seven hours
or less of informal caregiving) to very high (requiring more
than 36 hours). The planner then examines some of the financial
implications of providing this care. Through a set of more
personal questions, the planner also looks for any potential
signs of caregiver distress.
The RBC planning tool is based on extensive multi-year research
in homes and community-based care settings, led by Dr. John
Hirdes of the University of Waterloo.
"Informal caregivers throughout Canada play a vital
role in the quality of care that their loved ones receive;
they must also be sure to take care of themselves in order
to manage the various stressors associated with caregiving,"
noted Dr. Hirdes. "The challenge for us was to determine
how to translate the varied aspects of informal caregiving
into information that could be useful in a self-assessment
tool. We're very pleased to see our research incorporated
into this planner to help Canadians better understand what
informal caregiving entails."
The RBC Your CareGiving Planner can be accessed, free
of charge, at www.rbc.com/retirementcentre.
The customized report produced by this interactive online
tool can be printed by users; none of the user information
entered through the tool will be retained on the website.
A series of caregiving advice articles are also included on
About the RBC Retirement Research Centre
at the University of Waterloo
Retirement Research Centre at the University of Waterloo
focuses on research related to areas that influence quality
of life in retirement including health, leisure, wellness,
lifestyle, finances, economics, science, arts and technology.
The Centre's resources - including its newest interactive
tool, the RBC Your CareGiving Planner - are available by visiting
The Centre complements the distinctive RBC
Your Future by Design® approach to help Canadians
identify, plan, and realize their goals for retirement. With
the guidance of RBC financial
planners and investment
planners and retirement
planners, Your Future by Design helps Canadians create
a blueprint for a successful lifestyle and financial plan
for retirement based on what is truly important to them in
key areas in life, including family, health, home, lifestyle,
work/business, mind and spirit, and legacy. To find out more
about how RBC can help build a blueprint for the future, visit
or call our toll-free number at 1-866-335-4055.
About RBC's financial advice and interactive
Whether Canadians want to get more from their day
to day banking, protect what's important, save and invest,
borrow with confidence or take care of their businesses, the
Advice Centre can help answer their questions. Free interactive
tools and calculators provide customized information covering
many facets of personal finance and online advice videos are
updated regularly to answer questions that are top of mind
with Canadians. With the guidance of RBC advisors who are
available to chat live, Canadians have access to free, no
obligation professional advice about RBC products and services
one-on-one banking service. For more assistance, please
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located
at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, has become one
of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 30,000
full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate
programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary
co-operative education program, embraces its connections to
the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning,
research and discovery. In the next decade, the university
is committed to building a better future for Canada and the
world by championing innovation and collaboration to create
solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For
further details, visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
- 30 -
Kathy Bevan, RBC
University of Waterloo,
(519) 888-4567, ext. 38345