Federal parties ignoring 64% of voters by not addressing their priorities

The Green Party platform also mentions a National Home Care Policy without details and gives the same nod to federal-provincial collaboration, which from a results point of view is discouraging.

The Conservative platform allows income splitting for a family caring for someone with a disability and makes some improvements to their previously announced Registered Disability Savings Program which is not yet available. Subject to clarification on the details, these proposals would be available only in respect to those who qualify as “disabled” which excludes a great number of people who need family caregivers. Further, income splitting is a welcome option for families but it does nothing to alleviate the burden of those who are hit the hardest by caregiving obligations: single women.

The Liberals would make the Disability Tax Credit refundable which CARP supports but it is also limited to the “disabled” and there should be a much more comprehensive strategy in place to support the family caregiver.

CARP will continue to deliver its message to the federal politicians on the campaign trail on the issues that matter the most to the 14.5 million Canadians 45 years of age and more, who represent 42% of the Canadian population. Please see the attached list of priorities.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada which means social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination; ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and providing value-added benefits, products and services to members; and building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Taylor Communications Coordinator for Susan Eng, Vice President Advocacy CARP, A New Vision of Aging for Canada 416.363.7023 x. 236

Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General International Federation on Ageing 514.396.3358

Harold Brathwaite Executive Director Retired Teachers of Ontario 416.962.9463 ext 222

Nadine Henningsen, President of the Canadian Caregivers Coalition and Executive Director of the Canadian Home Care Association. 613.569.1585

Comprehensive National Family Caregiver Strategy

Aging at home is a major imperative for the formal health care and social services system which cannot adequately address the needs and expectations of growing numbers of older Canadians who must then rely on family and friends. Family caregivers contribute billions of dollars’ worth of unpaid work to ensure their loved ones get the care and support they need to age at home rather than in an institution. The financial and emotional burdens are nearly impossible for some especially lower income Canadians. A comprehensive strategy is needed to support family caregivers and the contributions they will continue to make to the public good.

CARP recommends that the federal government commit to the implementation of a National Caregiver Strategy to ensure that family caregivers can continue their vital social role by providing them with financial support, workplace protection as well integration with the formal Health Care System.

Financial support
Financial support should be made available to family caregivers to a level that would allow them to continue devoting their time to caregiving as needed. Various mechanisms can be examined, referencing international examples and including tax credits, allowances, or pension enrichment and they should address the differing needs of lower income Canadians and women who comprise the vast majority of caregivers.