Canadian Caregiver Coalition responds to the 2015 federal budget

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 22, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) welcomes the 2015 Federal Budget, which recognizes the importance of helping families and communities prosper. The 2015 Federal Budget includes several initiatives to increase support for family caregivers. Specifically, we are encouraged to see the following announcements:

  • Recognition of the contribution of family members taking care of seriously disabled veterans through the new tax-free Family Caregiver Relief Benefit.
  • Support for family caregivers who are caring for gravely ill family members through the enhancement of the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months.
  • Enhanced recognition of medical expenses incurred by family members through the removal of the $10,000 limit under the Medical Expense Tax Credit.
  • Ensuring the accessibility, safety and independence of seniors and person with disabilities through the Home Accessibility Tax Credit.

"We are pleased to see that family caregivers are recognized in this federal budget. These actions will provide much needed financial support for Canadians who take on a caring role to support someone with a diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-limiting illness," said Nadine Henningsen, President, Canadian Caregiver Coalition and Executive Director, Canadian Home Care Association.

Currently there are over 8 million Canadians who have taken on a caring role for a loved one, family or friend. The aging population, increasing dependency ratio, cost constraints and rising demand on our health care system, and changing family units are all increasing the likelihood that an individual will assume the role of family caregiver. Caregivers come from all walks of life—old and young, female (predominantly) and male (increasingly), and from all income levels.

The Economic Action Plan 2015 provides a good framework for future programs and supports from the federal government. As the national voice of family caregivers in Canada, the CCC looks forward to working with the government to further develop a suite of supports that will address the full spectrum of family caregivers. In order to achieve the CCC vision of "a Canada that recognizes and respects the integral role of family caregivers," the Coalition advocates for the adoption of a caregiver strategy that encompasses five critical priorities identified by family caregivers and caregiver support organizations:

  • Safeguard the health and well-being of caregivers.
  • Minimize the excessive financial burden placed on family caregivers.
  • Enable access to user friendly information and education.
  • Create flexible workplace environments that respect caregiving obligations.
  • Invest in research on family caregiving as a foundation for evidence-informed decision making.

The Coalition is eager to learn more about the initiatives and work with the federal government to build on their commitment to address the needs of family caregivers in Canada.

About the Canadian Caregiver Coalition
Established in 2000, the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) is a virtual alliance of diverse partner organizations that work collectively, and autonomously, to identify and respond to the needs of caregivers in Canada. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for family caregivers through advocacy and synergistic partnerships. Together we strive to achieve our vision of "a Canada that recognizes, respects and values the integral role of family caregivers in society."

 

SOURCE Canadian Home Care Association

For further information: Catherine Suridjan, Public Policy and Stakeholder Relations Lead, Canadian Caregiver Coalition, csuridjan@cdnhomecare.ca

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