Caregivers (also known as carers or family caregivers) provide care and assistance for family members or significant people who need support due to debilitating physical, mental or cognitive conditions. Government-funded home care programs in Canada are designed to complement, not replace, the efforts of individuals to care for themselves, with the assistance of caregivers and other community resources. As our population ages and the demand for care in the home and community continues to grow, the willingness and ability of caregivers to provide care will have a huge impact on the future of care.

Caregivers are the invisible backbone of our health care system. It is estimated that 80% of home and community-based care is provided by caregivers. The imputed economic cost to replace caregivers (who are adults aged 45 and older caring for those 65 years and older with long-term health or physical limitations) with members of the paid workforce at market rates (who are entitled to benefits, vacation, supervisory support, education and other overhead obligations of an employer) is estimated at $25–$31 billion annually.

Recognizing the role and value of caregivers for both home care and our health care system is a priority for the CHCA. To this end, we support a Canadian coalition—Carers Canada—and actively participate in the International Alliance of Carer Organizations. In addition, we coordinate a national awareness campaign each year on the first Tuesday of April, known as National Carers Day. This day has been unanimously adopted by the Members of Parliament of Canada. It is designated to recognize the importance of the “invisible” unpaid work carried out by parents and caregivers on behalf of their children and aging family members, as well as the volunteer work done in the community. On this day, the CHCA works with our members and partner organizations across the country to focus on a variety of caring themes to encourage all Canadians to show they care.


Caregivers’ perspectives on home-based palliative care

April 2, 2109
This campaign showcases how caregivers are involved in home-based palliative care. It focuses on their expertise in advance care planning; early assessment; service delivery; management of equipment, supplies and medication; and supporting communication among the health care team.
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International Forum on Care and Caregiving 

November 22, 2018
The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) and its affiliate, Carers Canada, are hosting an International Forum on Care and Caregiving in partnership with the University of Toronto and the University of Sheffield, UK.
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Connecting carers…

April 3, 2018
This campaign is designed to raise awareness of carers’ needs and the importance of connecting and accessing supports earlier rather than later in their care journeys. Health and social care connections are about building knowledge and making connections with health care providers, health policy planners and researchers, and community resources.
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Quick Facts

8 Million
caregivers provide support in Canada. Statistics Canada, 2012

of caregivers provide care to a loved one with age-related conditions.

16 to 28 Hours
Caregivers provide 16–28 hours of care per month.
The Vanier Institute of the Family, 2005

of caregivers provide care for one or more years.
Statistics Canada, 2012


Advancing Collective Priorities: A Canadian Carer Strategy

This report showcases the progress on the action items in the national carer strategy and details the policies and practice initiatives that support carers across Canada.
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Mobilizing Action: Family Care Givers in Canada

This integrated and shared plan addresses the physical, psychosocial and financial needs of family caregivers. Building on numerous initiatives and leveraging the commitment and momentum of over 60 organizations across Canada, Mobilizing Action will effect real change and have a lasting impact on family caregivers.
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