On April 2nd, Celebrate Family Caregiver Day in Ontario
RICHMOND HILL, ON, April 2, 2019 /CNW/ - Many caregivers want to work and to be productive members of the economy but there are very practical limitations. With 3 out of every 4 trying to balance caregiving responsibilities with paid employment; there is a need to fix the unfair economic burden placed on unpaid family caregivers who make up approximately 30 per cent of Ontario's total population.
Family Caregiver Day (April 2) provides the people of Ontario an opportunity to recognize the tremendous contributions unpaid family caregivers provide and to support their needs for better access to care services and financial supports.
"Family Caregivers in Ontario are facing very real and practical issues when caring for their loved ones due to financial distress and inadequate supports for respite and home care services.", says Cheryl Perera, Chair of the OCC. "Family Caregiver Day is an opportunity for everyone in Ontario to recognize the important work that caregivers do. While progress has been made over the last few years, we still have a long way to go to provide the necessary supports for family caregivers."
The OCC and its members continue to advocate for increased government investment in flexible respite services and increased and more equitable financial support for caregivers who are in financial distress. This would include making caregiver tax credits refundable and instituting a caregiver allowance in Ontario.
We invite all Ontarians to celebrate Family Caregiver Day and thank a family caregiver in their community by signing the thank-you card at www.ontariocaregivercoalition.ca or using the hashtag #thxcaregivers
- It is estimated that there are currently 3.3 million Ontarians – 29% of the provincial population – who are unpaid family caregivers
Ontario Caregivers span across generations – each with their own challenges:
- Young caregivers: There are over 500,000 family caregivers in Ontario between 15 and 24 years old.
- 'Sandwich' generation caregivers, who provide care for both their aging parents and their own children. 2.5 million caregivers make up the workforce and contribute to the province's tax base.
- Elderly caregivers: Nearly 375,000 caregivers in Ontario are 65 years or older.
About SEIU Healthcare
SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union's members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare is the largest voice of Ontario's unionized homecare workers and we represent CarePartners' employees at the bargaining table. In 2014, SEIU Healthcare's advocacy led to a $4 per hour increase to the minimum wage for all publicly-funded PSWs. www.seiuhealthcare.ca.
About the Ontario Caregiver Coalition
Since 2009, the Ontario Caregiver Coalition is dedicated to recognizing the importance of unpaid caregivers in Ontario by raising awareness of the value they add to the health care system, and by advocating for improved, fair access to needed supports. The OCC has been committed to working with all elected officials in the province to implement policies and programs that best meet the individual needs of caregivers. OCC's membership is a diverse cross section of individuals and organizations from across the province who are committed to advocating for increased recognition and improved support of unpaid caregivers. For more information, visit www.ontariocaregivercoalition.ca
SOURCE SEIU Healthcare
For further information: Corey Johnson, Head of Strategic Communications, SEIU Healthcare, 416-529-8909, [email protected] or Joanne Bertrand, Coordinator, Ontario Caregiver Coalition (OCC) [email protected]