Bayshore HealthCare funds National Institute on Ageing’s report on why Canada needs better care for working caregivers
MISSISSAUGA, ON (April 3, 2018) — Bayshore HealthCare has funded an important and revealing study on the state of working caregivers in Canada by the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University. The study concluded that more than 8-million Canadian caregivers, 54 per cent of whom are women, are keeping the healthcare system afloat across the country.
The NIA’s report, “Why Canada needs to better care for its working caregivers,” shows that Canadian caregivers contribute $25-billion annually to provincial health care systems through unpaid care. The majority of caregivers are balancing work and caregiving responsibilities with 35 per cent of the Canadian workforce providing care to others.
Bayshore HealthCare understands the stresses on family caregivers. Through its division, CAREpath, it created the Seniors Care Assistance Program, an employee benefit available to employers across Canada, that provides a comprehensive health care navigation program to employees and their families. The program connects employees with nurse navigators who help employees understand and access care options for their loved ones. “We’re proud to have funded the NIA’s report on “Why Canada needs better care for its working caregivers,” says Stuart Cottrelle, President of Bayshore HealthCare. “Through our employer programs like Seniors Care Assistance and home care services like respite care for caregivers, we want to ensure caregivers have access to the resources and services they need to care for themselves as well as for their loved ones.”
The research conducted by NIA discovered that almost 30 per cent of Canadian caregivers were women aged 35-44, which are pivotal years for building a career and working toward financial security, at a time when they are often caring for young children as well.
In addition to the many challenges presented by caring for a family member, most Canadians receive no financial assistance because they are unaware that they are eligible, do not understand the application process, or do not know how to apply for benefits. The NIA study reports that only 14 per cent of caregivers of spouses and 5 per cent of caregivers of parents received financial assistance from the government.
“Canada’s governments, health care systems and employers need to start recognizing that millions of Canadians are providing billions of dollars’ worth of care every year, and we should be supporting them,” says Dr. Samir Sinha, co-author of the NIA’s study at Ryerson. “Otherwise, we are reducing the ability of caregivers, particularly women in their prime earning years, to participate in the workforce and to simultaneously shoulder the economic burden of caring.”
The NIA report makes five key recommendations, including: recognizing all caregivers with a common definition; supporting caregivers with financial assistance and training; changing workplace cultures to recognize and support the unique challenges Canadian caregivers face; and develop national standards that both governments and employers can use to measure how well we the needs of working caregivers are being met.
“It is vitally important to have a national strategy for all caregivers,” adds Cottrelle. “And it’s also crucial for Canadians to understand how to obtain the financial assistance that is available to them now and for governments to understand that the system needs improvements.”
The full NIA report is available at https://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/nia/white-papers/working-caregivers.pdf
Bayshore HealthCare is one of the country’s leading providers of home and community health care services and is a Canadian-owned company. With over 100 locations across the country, including 60 home care offices, 13 pharmacies and 65 community care clinics, Bayshore has more than 12,000 staff members and provides care to over 200,000 clients. Its services are purchased by government care programs, insurance companies, workers’ compensation boards, health care organizations, the corporate sector and the public. The Bayshore brand extends across four business divisions: Bayshore Home Health (medical and non-medical home care and staffing services), Bayshore Home Care Solutions (home care services for government care programs), Bayshore Specialty Rx (specialty pharmacy, infusion and pharmaceutical patient support services), and Bayshore Therapy & Rehab (physiotherapy and rehabilitation services). The company’s goal is to enhance the quality of life, well-being, dignity and independence of Canadians of all ages. Bayshore HealthCare has been a recipient of Canada’s Best Managed Companies award since 2006.
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