National Caregivers Week is 1 – 7 November 2020

My father and me (2010)

At some point, all of us will be caregivers and will be in need of a caregiver.

Care givers are the invisible backbone of our health care system.

Ninety-six percent (96%) of individuals receiving long-term home care have an unpaid caregiver.[i]  Caregivers contribute $25 billion in unpaid care to our healthcare system.[ii] By providing care at home, they play an essential role in alleviating the strain on the overburdened health care system.

With the aging population and longer life expectancy, the number of Canadian caregivers will not decrease.  According to Statistics Canada, 28 percent of caregivers provide care to a loved one with age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.[iii]  The number of caregivers caring for the elderly will increase commensurately with the growth in diagnoses of Alzheimer’s Disease, which is expected to almost double from 500,000 to over 912,000 in 2030.[iv]

Consider the impact caregiving will have on your career, your employees and on workplace productivity and benefit plans

Even though caregivers are providing supplemental care and support to the health care system, we cannot ignore the impact of caregiving on caregivers, workplace productivity and on the economy.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2013, of the 8.1 million caregivers in Canada, 6.1 million were employed and must balance the competing demands of work and caregiving.  50% of caregivers are between the ages 45 and 65, their peak earning years. Caregivers of seniors with dementia are more likely to experience distress (45%) than caregivers of other seniors (26%).[v]

Caregivers also need to be cared for

I witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of dementia on my father and the impact of care giving on my mother.  Even though my father was a model patient, it was still a full-time job taking care of him.  He needed care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  At one point, my mother had to be hospitalized.  That was when she realized that as the caregiver, she couldn’t do it alone. 

My father and my mother, his caregiver

The caregiver shouldn’t need to feel that she or he has to be a hero, even though caregivers are heroes.  Their role in society is both indispensable and invaluable. 

At some point, all of us will be caregivers and will need a caregiver.

If you know someone who is taking care of someone with dementia, please be sensitive, reach out and be kind.

November 1 – 7 is National Caregivers’ Week 2020.

Find out more about activities and resources for National Caregivers’ Week 2020

L’Appui Nationale

Réseau des aidants naturels du Québec RANQ 

Camille N. Isaacs-Morell is the Executive Director, Alzheimer Society of Montreal.

[i] Source: Canadian Institute of Healthcare Information Accessed on 1 November 2020.

[ii] Source: Quoted from Hollander et al 2009 and published on Carers Canada  Accessed November 1, 2020

[iii] Source: Carers Canada A Canadian Carer Strategy  ,    Accessed November 1, 2020

[iv] Source: Alzheimer Society of Canada Accessed on 1 November 2020

[v] Source: Carers Canada   Accessed on 1 November 2020

Published by Camille Isaacs-Morell

Enabling businesses and people to be successful. This is my mission, my life’s work. It’s always been what I have done wherever I’ve been employed, called to serve or to volunteer. An experienced business leader, my core values are truth, integrity, and respect. I believe that values-based leadership is critical for organizational success that is enabled by an engaged and empowered workforce. Working over the years in several senior marketing, communications, and executive leadership mandates for global, financial, healthcare, and non-profit organizations, it has been through times of transformation and difficult change that I have done my best work. In my blog posts, I share my perspectives on leadership, marketing and strategy that are based on my key learnings and observations over the years, all with the objective of helping others reach for success. In my spare time, I enjoy the beauty of nature which I reproduce in my pastel paintings.

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