What Do I Need to Know About Caregiving in Canada?

CARP routinely polls and surveys its members.  A Cross-Canadian CARP survey in partnership with Sun Life had over 2000 respondents, providing rich information about the urgent need for family caregiver supports.  The full report, Supporting the Supporters: Unpaid caregivers in Canada provides recommendations for employers and the government.  Recommendations relate to virtual health care, help finding existing resources, public policy changes, workplace practices and benefits plan coverage.  It also highlights the way women are disproportionately impacted as caregivers. Women perform the role most often, are most likely to have complex caregiving responsibilities and are most likely to have left employment as a result of caregiving.

Caregiving can be deeply rewarding.  But it is very important to acknowledge just how incredibly challenging and stressful it can be, especially when resources are few and far between.  Over 75% of the CARP caregivers find it challenging to care for their own mental and physical health.  This impacts not just your own self – worthy of your concern —  but also the kind of care you can offer.  If you are a caregiver who is struggling, please see the caregiving resources listed on this page, as well as resources on our mental health webpage.

National Seniors Strategy: Caregiving:

How is CARP Advocating for Caregivers?

CARP is deeply concerned about that the way the Canadian health system currently places an undue burden on the shoulders of unpaid caregivers.  Much can and should be done to mitigate this burden.

CARP is advocating for systemic changes and individual supports to unpaid caregivers, that would allow Canadians to age at home for as long as possible, without increased burden to unpaid caregivers.

Systemic changes

-Increased funding for home and community care

-more practical healthcare supports such as home care and nursing,

-more supports to make homes accessible

-addressing the shortage of qualified personnel

-improving barriers to access to health care

Individual supports

  •  the government should exempt in-home caregiver services from the federal portion of the HST
  • the government should ensure a refundable caregiver tax credit
  • the government should 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.
  • ensuring mental health supports are adequate for seniors

How Can I Get Involved?

There are many ways to get involved.  Find out more.