Canadian Caregiver Coalition applauds measures in the Federal Budget

OTTAWA, June 6, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - On behalf of the millions of family caregivers across the country, the Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC) applauds the federal government for their recognition of the tremendous time and resources required of family caregivers. The inclusion of a Family Caregiver Tax Credit and the removal of the limit on eligible expenses under the current Medical Expense Tax Credit in today's federal budget is an important step in supporting family caregiver.

"Financial measures for those who must take time off work is a critical component of effective strategy to support family caregivers", said Nadine Henningsen, CCC President. "We are pleased to see the federal government maintaining its commitment to family caregivers by mitigating their financial burden through this program."

The intensity and length of caregiving can be significant, with 60% of caregivers providing care for more than three years. Additionally, 41% of Canadians use personal savings to support themselves when caring for loved ones and 22% of these individuals miss one or more months of work.

There is a role for all levels of government and sectors of society to support family caregivers, which is expressed in the CCC's Caregiving Strategy. The Strategy describes how Canadians can collectively and individually take measures to support family caregivers, providing them the safety net they require in demanding circumstances. The CCC's Caregiving Strategy includes the following elements:

...Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of family caregivers and increasing the flexibility and availability of respite care

...Minimizing excessive financial burden placed on family caregivers

...Enabling access to user friendly information and education

...Creating flexible workplace environments that respect caregiving obligations

...Investing in research on family caregiving as a foundation for evidence-informed decision making

The CCC and our partners will continue to work with the federal government to advance policy for all family caregivers in Canada.

About the Canadian Caregiver Coalition

The Canadian Caregiver Coalition is a diverse group of national and provincial organizations from across Canada that works collaboratively to represent and promote the needs and interests of family caregivers with all levels of government, and the community. The vision of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition is a Canada that recognizes and respects the integral role of family caregivers in society, and supports this role with the understanding that it is not a substitute for public responsibility in health and social care.