Can Canadians afford to make family visits?

Canadians are trying to visit their elderly loved ones more, but with more time commitments at work and home, these family visits are starting to decrease.

In a new study conducted by Bayshore HealthCare, 36 percent of all Canadians polled say they were only able to visit their elders periodically, ranging from once every two to four months (17 percent) to some never visiting at all (5 percent). Many more, 43 percent visit at least once a week.

Of the 1,000 Canadians surveyed, more than half (60 percent) say distance kept them from more visits, 35 percent said it was commitments at home.

The study also showed:

  • Gender isn’t a factor, with men and women visiting elderly relatives with almost the same frequency.
  • A higher education means fewer visits; only 33 percent of those polled with university degrees say they often visited loved ones, compared to 50 percent of high school graduates.
  • A third of British Columbians visiting relatives no more than once every six months, while on the other side of the country, 63 percent of residents in Atlantic Canada say they visit their loved ones at least once a week.
  • Only four people in the entire survey admitted they visited their elderly relatives so they can be included in their wills.

The lack of family visits doesn’t surprise Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

In tough economic times it’s difficult to make time for family who live out of town,” Schwartz says. “People are trying to deal with rising gas prices and other financial issues at home. As such, Canadians don’t want to or can’t travel too often to visit these family members.”

Struggling to balance your own finances and still make time for family? Consolidated Credit offers free resources including financial calculators and self-help guides in our Debt Learning Centre. We also have advice on the best ways to avoid travel debt if you are making a plan to visit family.

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