Recognizing Working Caregivers on April 7: National Family Caregiver Day

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ - On National Family Caregiver Day, the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) is pleased to join the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) in recognizing employee caregivers. The events taking place on this day will stimulate awareness and pay recognition to the 6.1 million Canadians who have to balance their personal commitments, caregiving duties and work responsibilities.

In 2012, 2.2 million Canadians received some form of help in their home to cope with a long term health condition, disability or aging needs. Overall, seniors were the most frequent users, with aging needs being the most prevalent reasons for receiving care. This number will continue to increase as our country is faced with the growing number seniors and related complexity of care.   According to Statistics Canada, 88% of home care receivers relied on the help of family caregivers. In fact, family caregivers provide 80% of the care needed by seniors with long term conditions. "Family caregivers play a vital role in enabling seniors to remain safely at home with dignity and quality of life. Their support and care have protected their loved ones from unnecessary hospital visits or premature admission to long-term care facilities", stated Jill Robbins, CHCA President.

"Caregiving does not come without a cost", said Nadine Henningsen, CHCA Executive Director and CCC President.  "Employed family caregivers often face the challenge of two full-time jobs, spending 36.5 hours per week in their paid employment and another 30 hours per week providing unpaid care to their loved ones.  This situation has consequences for both the employee and the employer, including increased work interruptions, reduced productivity, missing work days, reducing work hours or foregoing job opportunities."  

Family caregivers are an important priority for home care programs across the country.   In order to meet the growing pressure placed on our health care system, the CHCA recommends provincial, territorial and federal governments take the following actions:  

  1. Support the vital role of family caregivers through programs that safeguard their health, minimize financial burden, and provide them with information and resources.
  2. Meet the commitment to long-term, chronic care in the home setting by increasing the percentage of public health care funding allocated to home care. 
  3. Agree upon and adopt a set of harmonized principles for home care that will achieve a level of consistency across the country, while respecting important jurisdictional difference. 

Through our active involvement in the CCC and International Alliance of Carer Organizations, the CHCA is committed in building recognition and developing the necessary supports for family caregivers across Canada.   We look forward to working with the federal, provincial and local stakeholders to ensure that seniors are valued and protected through the establishment of initiatives that support the vital role of family caregivers.  

The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA), incorporated in 1990, is a national not-for-profit membership association representing home care stakeholders from governments (federal, provincial and territorial), health authorities, publicly funded home care programs, service providers, medical and technology companies, researchers and others with an interest in home care.  The CHCA advances excellence in home care and continuing care through leadership, awareness, advocacy and knowledge.

 

SOURCE Canadian Home Care Association

For further information: Nadine Henningsen, Executive Director, Canadian Home Care Association, 289-290-4376 Email: nhenningsen@cdnhomecare.ca, Twitter: @CdnHomeCare

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