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3 things you might not know about caregivers 

2 MIN READ

Every year on the first Tuesday in April, we mark National Caregiver Day in Canada. Informal caregiverspeople like spouses, family, and neighbours who provide unpaid physical, mental, and emotional careare critical to supporting the aging population and sustaining health and community services. 

At the same time, caregivers need care too: without respite from their duties, many caregivers experience burnout and distressleading to a cycle of poor health for the whole family. 

Today and every day, we send our thanks to the caregivers whose immense work often goes unnoticed. 

Dear caregivers, you are valued!  

We can all do more to value caregivers, and learning about them is a first step. Here are three things you might not know: 

1. There are more caregivers than you might think. 

In 2018, 7.8 million Canadians aged 15 and older (25% of the population) were caregivers. The economic value of caregivers’ unpaid work caring for those with long-term conditions, disabilities, or problems related to aging has been estimated to be $97.1 billion in 2018. 

96 per cent of individuals receiving long-term home care in Canada have an unpaid caregiver. More than 1 in 3 of these caregivers reported feeling distressed. 

Distressed caregivers spend an average of 38 hours each week on caregiving duties—the equivalent of a full-time job. As our country’s aging population grows, more and more people will find themselves in the role of caregiver. 

2. There are many resources available to support caregivers. 

It can be hard to know where to turn for support. The following resources can help you navigate the vast number of services available, and find resources close to home. 

3. Senior and caregiver-serving organizations across Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark County and Renfrew County are committed to improving the challenging circumstances facing caregivers.  

United Way East Ontario convenes Successful Aging Councils across the communities we serve. These groups are committed to supporting seniors and their caregivers through information sharing and community-wide strategizing. Additionally, partners assess and respond to emerging challenges faced by seniors, caregivers, and the organizations that serve them.  

Notably, these networks of organizations are committed to implementing the recommendations from the Eastern Ontario Caregiver Strategy and the Reports on Vulnerable Seniors (Ottawa and rural Eastern Ontario). 

With the power of so many organizations fueling this work, our efforts improve the wellbeing of seniors and their caregivers, while also strengthening seniors-serving organizations. 

Partners:

Your support of United Way East Ontario helps local seniors and caregivers lead happy, healthy lives.
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