It’s time to support family caregivers
By 2021 there’ll be 6.7 million Canadians over age 65, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Our growing senior population also means that more middle-aged adults will be juggling their careers while caring for their own families as well as their aging parents. These family caregivers will need resources, support and experts they can turn to, if they’re going to provide exceptional family care.
Until now, the contribution of family caregivers has largely gone unnoticed. It’s estimated that family caregivers provide more than 80% of home care services in Canada, on average 20 hours per week.
How do we ensure that family caregivers have full access to our health care system so that they get the support they need, when they need it? One way is to send a strong message to the politicians. Ontario is in the midst of a provincial election and family caregivers are speaking up for their right to viable support.
Bayshore Home Health is stepping up to the plate and giving back to the communities it serves by creating new initiatives designed to support family caregivers. So, get your calendars out, open up your computers and get ready!
This week we officially launched our monthly e-newsletter, Eye on Health. The newsletter is designed to support family caregivers as they care for their aging loved ones. Every month, Eye on Health will focus on a health care topic or disease that’s relevant to the health and well-being of older adults. It’ll include tips and solutions to help manage health issues and ease the stress associated with caregiving.
Next week we are launching Vote to Support Family Caregivers, a campaign calling for nationwide government support for family caregivers. We’re using social media to garner public support for increased government funding and improved policies. We’ll make the case for provincial and federal funding initiatives aimed at improving the lives and health of our family caregivers.
We’re also planning an event to honour the tireless dedication and daily sacrifices of family caregivers. Women Who Give CARE takes place November 10. We’ll bring family caregivers together for a special evening of camaraderie and to share our stories of caring and learning.
Through my role at Bayshore and the Caring@Home blog, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to bring my experience as a nurse and a family caregiver to the estimated four million family caregivers in Canada. This year I really noticed a greater public awareness of the work done by family caregivers. Now, it’s time to put the issues front and centre, and for us to rally together to help family caregivers cope with day-to-day challenges.
Let’s help family caregivers get the job done. As a family caregiver myself, I know from first-hand experience that my family’s journey would be much easier with more support. Join our family caregiver campaigns! Let your voice be heard and your vote counted so that we together build a health care community that meets everyone’s needs.