We’ve been sharing with you recently studies about the burden, both financial and emotional, that family members carry when caring for their elderly relatives.

This article from Finland gives a first hand report on how difficult it is when the family care giver is elderly. Unlike some other countries, Finland has a program based on the Home Care Act that provides for holidays for family care givers, such as providing respite care for a period of time. They are also eligible to apply for financial support from the government to help cover their care giving costs.

It is estimated that about 28,000 Finnish families participate in the program but the actual number of elderly care givers could be ten times that as many families are not aware of the program and don’t know if they qualify.

But even with these government programs in place the strain on the elderly care giver threatens his/her health and well being. And as the population ages it will get more difficult.