You Don’t Have to do this Alone
Being a caregiver can be both rewarding and challenging. So, caregivers need information and support.
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.
How many carers are there in Canada? In 2018, 25% of Canadians (7.8 million) provided care to a family member or friend with a long-term physical or mental disability. (Stats Canada).
When we think of caregivers, we usually imagine the “boomer” caring for aging parents. But there are many “young carers” too.
Caregiving: Rewards and Challenges
Caregiving can be a rewarding experience. For instance, it can be caring for a spouse; honouring their vow to be there for each other. It can mean caring for parents who made many sacrifices for them. In contrast, some may take on the role out of a sense of duty or obligation. Perhaps, it is a cultural norm.
Caregiving can be challenging. It can be exhausting to balance the demands of daily life, work, and raising children with the role of caregiving. The demands can lead to fatigue and burnout.
What is often not said is that the care receiver can be difficult: demanding and unappreciative. This makes the role so much harder.
Thus, caregivers need information and support.
Caregiver (Carer) Facts
Here are some facts on caregivers (carers) in Canada. The source is:
- $25 billion in unpaid labour to our health system
- 8.1 million Canadians (1 in 4)
- 50% are between the ages of 45 – 65
- 6.1 million are juggling work and caregiving responsibilities
- 70-80% of community care for older adults is provided by carers
- Carers spend $12.6 million/year on expenses related to their caring role.
- Women and men take on the role: 54% women, 46% men
You Are Not Alone
If you are new to the caregiving role — or if you have been engaged in providing care for a long time, you can find information and support.
There are several Canadian associations. Some are listed here.
Carers Canada – A National Caregiver Coalition
Our mission is to bring caregivers together to share their experiences. Join Huddol -it’s free – where you can exchange with a network of professionals and other caregivers.
Information about support groups, government resources and other websites and resources of interest for family caregivers in Canada.
Caregiver Associations in the Provinces and Territories
For a list of caregiver associations in the provinces and territories, click here.
If you are caring for an aging parent and want information about services, check our article: Seniors Information Services.