Canada's Caregiving Crisis and HOW TO FIX IT
Buckle up because today, the new Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence released a white paper on the crisis state of caregiving in Canada and HOW TO FIX IT.
The report is titled Giving Care: An approach to a better caregiving landscape in Canada. If you’re a policy nerd like me, you can download the full report or, if you’d prefer the short version, just click the link for “Executive Summary.”
In a nutshell, the report identifies our biggest challenges this way:
- Services for caregivers and care recipients are insufficient, fragmented and difficult to access
- Financial supports are insufficient and ineffectively designed
- The care provider workforce is in crisis
- Supports for caregivers do not meet their current and future needs
- Leaves and protections for employed caregivers are inadequate
The report boldly asserts that caregiving is the next policy frontier for our country (I agree!). And here’s what’s being proposed to our elected officials:
- Create a co-ordinated approach to caregiving, through: a common and inclusive definition of caregiving; a national caregiving strategy; provincial caregiving legislation; and international caregiver recognition
- Improve, expand and invest in services for care recipients and caregivers, through: home and community care funding; mandatory assessment of caregiver needs; integrated care across services and sectors; and public navigator roles
- Develop strategies for supporting employed caregivers, through: expanded leaves and benefits, flexible work legislation and promotion, caregiver-friendly workplaces; and government leadership
- Develop financial supports that reflect the value of caregiving, through: inclusive tax credits and benefits; caregiver allowances or income; and increased supports for people with disabilities
- Develop the workforce and improve conditions for care providers, through: competitive wages and increased funding; professionalization of care provider roles; support and protection for migrants to fill workforce gaps; and a workforce development strategy.
I want Canada to be the world’s best place for caregivers to live and work. If we join hands and create a social movement for change, we can make that happen. Please share this blog post with your friends and family. And talk about these ideas online using the hashtag #CdnCaregiving!