Over 8 million Canadians are caregivers; that’s one in four people. We all know someone either personally, socially or professionally who is a caregiver. Without them, our health system would be faced with increased costs in the billions of dollars. The contributions they make, monetarily, socially and emotionally are invaluable. Caregivers are often referred to as our invisible health partners. On behalf of Carers Canada, we are here to tell you that they can no longer, must no longer, be invisible.
Recognizing the 8.1 million carers in Canada
To celebrate National Carers Day 2017, Carers Canada hosted a Carer Breakfast at Parliament Hill to bring parliamentarians, carers and diverse stakeholders together on a matter that has become relevant to many of us. The theme “Caring at Home” raised awareness of the invaluable role carers provide to support older adults with frailty, individuals with complex, chronic disabling conditions, and those at end-of-life to stay safely at home. The Carer Breakfast was co-hosted by Deborah Schulte (Member of Parliament for King-Vaughan and Chair, Liberal Senior Caucus) and sponsored by Carers Canada’s Signatory Partners: Canadian Home Care Association, CBI Health Group and Saint Elizabeth.
For the first time, our Prime Minister joined our nation to pay tribute to family members and friends who have been stepping up to provide support and fill the gap in our publicly funded health care system.
“Today is all about celebrating the power of caregivers and taking bold action to support them. Caring for family is a big societal issue that will in time touch the lives of virtually all of us.”
Profiling the faces and voices of family caregivers
The Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) illuminated the challenges faced by millions of family caregivers to parliamentarians through the launch of a photographic census. Co-hosted by the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), this event increased awareness of the 6.1 million Canadians – parents, colleagues, friends and neighbours – who have to balance their personal commitments, unpaid caregiving duties and work responsibilities. The photographic census documented the daily realities caregivers face behind closed doors as they try to balance their career and family caregiving responsibilities the best way they can.
“In using powerful visual narratives, our intent is to cut through the busy noise and information to capture the public’s attention. In doing so, we hope to stimulate a deeper engagement that will lead to the profound change we need as a nation”
“The CCC believes it is critical to build a better understanding of the impact family caregiving has on our society, and to make sure our parliamentarians understand the importance of the issue and their role in providing solutions.”
May 6, 2014
An invitational luncheon, hosted by The Honourable Andrew Scheer, M.P. Regina—Qu’Appelle and Speaker of the House of Commons and The Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP, Mount Royal, In partnership with the Canadian Caregiver Coalition and the Canadian Cancer Society to recognize and share caregivers’ experiences.
Nadine Henningsen, President Canadian Caregiver Coalition & Executive Director Canadian Home Care Association joined Ms. Pamela Fralick, President and CEO Canadian Cancer Society to encourage parliamentarians to recognize and consider the needs for caregivers in their policy discourse.
The federal government’s leadership is need to support a pan Canadian Caregiver Strategy, one in which caregivers are recognized and their needs identified; a strategy that includes provisions for accessible and flexible respite, mitigation of undue financial burden, provision of information and support systems, flexible workplace options, supports and resources in educational institutions, and best practices using evidence-based decision making.
May 6, 2010
The Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) called on all Canadians to reach out and support the family caregivers in their midst. The request was made to more than 60 parliamentarians, senators and guests who attended a special caregiver luncheon on the hill hosted by Mme Folco, MP Laval- Les Isles and supported by the Caregiver Coalition.
Members of the Caregiver Coalition and guest speakers conveyed both the moral and the business case for change – change in the recognition of caregivers as vital to our society. In her remarks, Nadine Henningsen, CCC President, acknowledged the government’s work and called on those present to recognize that we are on the threshold of major social change in Canada triggered by the aging population.
“The Canadian Caregiver Coalition believes that all sectors of society need to become conscious and supportive of family caregivers through policy and action that respects the importance of their work to our society”
May 7, 2009
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) urged the federal government to acknowledge and support family caregivers through the establishment of a Canadian Caregiver Strategy. The groups brought their message to more than 50 Parliamentarians during a luncheon held on Parliament Hill.
“Today’s reality is that it will become increasing difficult for families to provide care for their loved ones,” said Nadine Henningsen, President of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition. “The CCC believes that caregivers must be supported, recognized and protected through a Canadian Caregiver Strategy.”
“The current economic downturn will only increase the need for a Canadian Caregiver Strategy, which is central to ensuring that our health care system can meet the needs of all Canadians”
“A quick win is possible for family caregivers through an expansion of the Compassionate Care Benefit.”
A CARER (also referred to as caregiver or family caregiver) is a person who takes on an unpaid caring role for someone who needs help because of a physical or cognitive condition, an injury or a chronic life-limiting illness.