CARP Priority – Home Care

CARP seeks supports for those who want to live-in-place and their caregivers.

Virtually 100% of CARP members tell us they want to remain in their homes for as long as possible, and nearly a quarter have admitted to supplementing publicly funded home care with private alternatives. According to new research, Canada spends 30% less than the average OECD country on the provision of long-term care, and close to 90% of our public long-term care dollars on facility-based care, rather than home-based care.

To this end, CARP calls on the government to increase financial supports to expand home–based long-term care and community care services, including front-line home-care, nursing hours, expanding tele-healthcare solutions, and income tax rebates for family-funded care to enable living-in place as an alternative to facility-based care.

CARP also advocates for more support for caregivers. The vast majority of home care needs in Canada could not be met without the support of unpaid family caregivers who, according to a recent University of Alberta study, save our health care system an estimated $66 billion annually. Right now, caregivers are entitled to a Family Caregiver Tax Credit. This tax credit is non-refundable, and therefore only benefits those who pay taxes. Those who are most in need of relief—individuals who have given up their employment income to provide care—receive no benefit. Moreover, a majority of caregivers are female and between the ages of 45-64 (44%). Women in this demographic tend to outlive their spouses, often forego employment to provide care, and face a greater likelihood of financial insecurity in retirement—in many cases even poverty.

CARP calls on the government to make the Canada Caregiver Tax Credit a refundable tax credit, or a rebate, to ensure all caregivers are treated equally and are able to obtain financial relief. Governments should also exempt in-home caregiver services from the federal portion of the HST to support individuals ageing in place. And allow a drop-out provision of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for full-time caregivers who have left the workforce due to their caregiving responsibilities, to ensure that they are not penalized under CPP for taking time out of the workforce.