In Canada, family and friends are the greatest source of care for older people. As the number of older Canadians with chronic health conditions including dementia increases, more of us will need the support of caregivers. Last year it was estimated that unpaid caregivers provided care that would have cost our system around $30B. The continued dedication and contribution of caregivers sustains our ability to care for older people in the health care system. However, caregivers face an enormous toll on their own health and well-being and their commitment to caregiving has an impact on Canada’s economic productivity. Providing appropriate support and recognition to meet the needs of current and future caregivers will not only keep our health care systems sustainable, but will also ensure that our economic productivity as a nation can be improved and strengthened.
The Federal Government can work with Canada’s provinces, territories to enable this pillar and associated activities in a variety of ways: