The Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being and our partners are proud to raise our voices in recognition of the millions of Canadians - family, friends and neighbours - who take on a caring role to support someone with a diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-limiting illness.
In partnership with the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC), we are undertaking a special recognition of the 6.1 million family caregivers who must balance their personal commitments, caregiving duties and work responsibilities. On April 7, we are joining diverse stakeholders and caregivers across the country to learn and share the challenges and solutions to better support family caregivers through a series of podcasts and live tweet chats hosted by the CCC. “It is a day to reflect on our successes as organizations who are committed to supporting employee caregivers and work together to enhance the supports they so desperately need”, stated Donna Lero, CFWW Research Theme Leader on Public Policies, Workplace Practices and Community Supports.
The research studies Dr. Lero and her colleagues have done over the last few years confirm the major contributions family/friend caregivers make in our society. Family caregivers are the invisible back bone of our health care system and provide over 80 percent of the care needed by individuals with long-term conditions. Today, 35% of the Canadian workforce are family caregivers. Fifty percent of employee caregivers are between the ages of 45 to 65, in their peak earning years with valuable skills and experience. They provide between 16 to 28 hours of care per month over the course of 3 years. It is estimated that family caregivers contribute $25–30 billion dollars of unpaid care every year. Family caregivers can experience negative effects on their financial, emotional and personal well-being – which, in turn, can have significant effects on workplace productivity, particularly in situations where employees have limited flexibility and support. Developing strategies to support employee caregivers is a smart business strategy that will pay off in increased retention of skilled employees and decreased recruitment and training costs.
For more information about National Family Caregiver Day, please visit the Candian Caregiver Coalition.