It’s not if….it’s when you will be a family caregiver; now is the time to speak out for family caregivers

Caring for family is not new. Our society assumes, and in fact expects, that families and/or friends will provide the necessary support when a loved one needs care. Typically, it is only when needs escalate to a crisis that formal health care intervenes.

“Family caregivers” provide care and assistance for family members and friends who are in need of support because of age, illness or disability. A family caregiver’s effort, understanding and compassion enable individuals to live with dignity and to participate more fully in society. Caregivers come from all walks of life – old and young; female (predominantly) and male (increasingly); and can be found across all income levels.

Today, families are smaller and more dispersed; more women are working; the population is aging; chronic conditions are increasing and the formal health system is not equipped or able to provide the necessary care and support. All these factors put added pressure on the family caregiver. Caregivers must be supported, recognized and protected in order to enable Canadians to choose to live and age independently, with dignity and safety at home in their communities.

The Canadian Caregiver Coalition believes that governments have a vital role in supporting family caregivers. The Coalition, in collaboration with CARP, is calling on the federal government to support family caregivers by implementing tax measures in the 2009 Budget that will help them to care for their loved ones at home.

Every Canadian has, is, or will be, providing care to a family member in their lifetime. It is time to speak out for family caregivers, to show our appreciation and provide meaningful support. Let your elected representatives know how important this issue to you.

About the Canadian Caregiver Coalition:

The Canadian Caregiver Coalition is the national coalition that consists of 24 national and provincial organizations who work collaboratively to represent and promote the needs and interests of family caregivers with all levels of government, and the community.

To find out more, visit the Canadian Caregiver Coalition website