April 28, 2017, TORONTO – The Ontario government has announced increased support for informal, unpaid caregivers. CARP, who has been advocating for more respite support for caregivers, welcomed this news.
“Caregivers endure significant costs to their own health, including high levels of stress and burn-out as a result of the challenges associated with caring for a loved one,” said Wanda Morris, VP of Advocacy. “We are pleased that the government has responded to our campaign asks with necessary supports.”
The Ontario government says that it will provide additional funding for approximately 1.2 million hours of respite services for caregivers, such as personal support or nursing. “CARP is delighted to see this additional investment, so that Ontarians who care for loved ones aren’t forced to sacrifice their own health and well-being to care for others,” said Morris.
The government also announced that it will invest in more education and training programs for unpaid caregivers to help them learn how to provide care to their loved ones at home in ways that work for them, including online, in group settings and in a variety of languages.
The newly announced streamlined Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit is indeed a step in the right direction.
“Financial relief to caregivers is critically important. We know that informal unpaid caregivers save Healthcare Systems across Canada $26 billion annually, so it’s good to see some of those savings being used to alleviate caregiver stress.” said Morris.
“While we laud this step, we’re concerned that the government has not provided relief to caregivers who have the greatest financial need. If you’ve given up your job to be a caregiver, you won’t benefit from a credit against your taxes” said Morris.
The 300,000 member-strong advocacy organization is thrilled that its campaign asks are being heard and that many of them have been achieved. CARP continues to fight for robust and comprehensive support for caregivers.