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Statement from Minister of Health on National Family Caregiver Day

Ontario Newsroom Bulletin | Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care | April 4, 2017

Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, issued the following statement:

“Today — on National Family Caregiver Day — I want to thank each caregiver across Ontario for the work they do every day to care for their loved ones. 

A caregiver is someone who takes on the unpaid role of helping a family member or loved one with their physical or cognitive condition, injury or chronic life-limiting illness.

Improving care at home and in the community is one of our government’s most important health care priorities. Informal caregivers, like family members and friends, contribute to more than 70 percent of their loved ones’ caregiving needs, and we know how stressful that can be. As Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, I want to ensure caregivers are supported and able to take rests from providing care to their loved ones.

Last year, our government provided approximately 600,000 additional hours of respite services for caregivers across the province, to give caregivers a well-earned break from doing the work of caring for a loved one. This investment is part of Ontario’s Patients First: Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care.

Our government is committed to continuing to improve supports for caregivers and help make their lives easier.”

Quick Facts from Family Caregiver Training: Environmental Scan and Gap Analysis for Reena

  • Almost one-quarter of Canadians are family caregivers.  In 2013, there were 8.1 million family caregivers in Canada, representing 23% of the national population. The proportion of caregivers is higher in Ontario where 3.3 million individuals representing 29% of the province were family caregivers in 2012.
  • Caregivers assist individuals with a wide range of medical conditions including cancer (10%), diabetes (3%), dementia (6%) and developmental disabilities (2%).
  • Fifty-one percent of those caregiving over 10 hours a week were assisting someone with a developmental disability.   This was the top-ranked condition for high levels of caregiving.  This is particularly striking given the low proportion of caregivers noted above, who assist individuals with developmental disabilities. These individuals spend more time caregiving than those who assist individuals with cancer (36%), post-injury (43%) or with Alzheimer’s disease or dementias(32%).