8 million caregivers for family, friends in Canada

Flexible workplaces among 5 actions recommended by coalition
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/20/2013

There are more than eight million Canadians — 28 per cent of population 15 years or older — who provide care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, according to the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC), citing Statistics Canada data.

And the median number of hours family caregivers spend caring for their child is 10 hours and for their is 14 hours per week, found the government’s 2012 General Social Survey in Portraits of Caregivers and Family Caregiving: What are the Consequences?

"Our aging population, increasing life expectancy and the growing prevalence of chronic disease will further multiply the demands on family caregivers,” ssaid Nadine Henningsen, executive director of the Canadian Home Care Association and president of the CCC. "This new report provides vital information to reinforce the pressing need for co-ordinated action to support caregivers across the country."

In order to achieve the CCC vision of "a Canada that recognizes and respects the integral role of family caregivers,” the coalition is advocating that the federal, provincial and territorial governments adopt a caregiver strategy encompassing five critical actions:

•Safeguard the health and wellbeing of caregivers.

•Minimize excessive financial burden placed on family caregivers.

•Enable access to user-friendly information and education.

•Create flexible workplace environments that respect caregiving obligations.

•Invest in research on family caregiving as a foundation for evidence-informed decision making.

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