Home Sections Seniors National Caregiver Day: recognizing their work & commitment

National Caregiver Day: recognizing their work & commitment

Respite and tax credits

mother, daughter, senior, caregive
Adult children are among the unpaid caregivers of older seniors in their families and community. [web]

Tuesday April 2, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

The BC population is aging. That’s not news to people who take care of seniors in multiple unseen ways.

Today April 2, 2024 is National Caregiver Day. It’s a way to acknowledge the commitment and contributions of family, friends and neighbours who help out elderly folks on top of running their own often busy and highly-obligated working and family lives.

son, father, grandson
Adult children are among the unpaid caregivers of older seniors in their families and community. [web]

Caregivers may benefit by the enhanced relationships with the ones they care for (and perhaps other members of the family through the process) but the economic and health impacts to the caregivers are still not receiving adequate recognition.

More seniors are aging in place within a range of independent situations and capabilities. They are not in long-term care or assisted living, but still might need various types of support.

soil quality, workshop, langford, 2024

Doing a lot:

  • The new BC Seniors Advocate Dan Levitt says that family caregivers do a range of things for their loved ones including to cook, clean, drive to appointments, undertake personal care, help maintain a home and pay bills among other tasks and activities.
  • Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care, said today in a statement that the dedication of care providers can often be overlooked.

Official statements:

Here are their two April 2, 2024 statements, in full:

Seniors Advocate statement on National Caregiver Day – Statement by Dan Levitt, BC Seniors Advocate

Dan Levitt, BC Seniors Advocate

dan levitt, bc seniors advocate
BC Seniors Advocate Dan Levitt, March 2024 [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

“April 2nd is National Caregiver Day and an opportunity to recognize the role of family caregivers in supporting the health and well-being of seniors in B.C.

Not only are seniors living longer, but each year, the number of seniors as a proportion of the provincial population is increasing. This also means that more and more loved ones throughout British Columbia are becoming caregivers and helping older people in our communities live happy, healthy lives.

Caregivers provide invaluable support for their loved ones who have increasingly complex needs as they get older. Family caregivers cook, clean, drive to appointments, undertake personal care, help maintain a home and pay bills among other tasks and activities. Often caregivers are working full-time and caring for their own families which puts their mental and physical health at risk.

The ‘labour of love’ provided for seniors by family caregivers is generally unseen and unpaid, and often undertaken by women, for women. As a result, this work can be unnoticed and not receive the recognition it deserves.

mitzi dean, mla, constituency, ad

We can acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of caregivers by ensuring they have access to adult day programs, respite care, home support services and other resources so they can get the rest they deserve. One commonly overlooked support is the caregiver tax credit which is intended to create additional tax savings for Canadians supporting infirm or dependent loved ones at home. The expansion of the eligibility criteria for this tax credit would go a long way to support caregivers and ensure all their contributions – emotional, physical and financial – are better recognized.

British Columbians have shown again and again that they care about seniors in our province. Let’s take a moment to commend the commitment of family caregivers who give so much of themselves to ensure seniors can age with grace and dignity.”

district of metchosin

Parliamentary Secretary’s statement on National Caregiver Day

Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care

Harwinder Sandhu, seniors, parliamentary secretary
Harwinder Sandhu, BC Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services.

“National Caregiver Day is one of celebration and acknowledgement of the caregivers who support and provide care for friends, neighbours and loved ones. Their contributions are crucial for many in B.C., and their time and attention ensure the people they care for are healthier, happier and enjoy a higher quality of life.

“While the dedication of care providers can often be overlooked, today we seize the opportunity to recognize their efforts and send our deep thanks to these everyday heroes. Caregivers have key roles in our health-care system, providing companionship along with physical, mental and emotional care for those in our communities who often face daily challenges with chronic illness or disabilities.

“Our government is very grateful for all the caring people who provide supports for those who need it the most. Taking a loved one to the doctor, getting prescriptions or groceries, and helping with house chores and meal preparation improves the daily life of some of our most vulnerable people and contributes to their overall well-being.

monk office, chairs

“As our population rapidly grows and ages, more people will become caregivers. To best support them, and the people they care for, we’re making sure that they have resources they can count on now and in the future. Budget 2024 provides increased funding to community-based seniors’ services, which deliver programs that help seniors remain physically active, socially engaged and connected to their communities. These programs, such as Better at Home, help seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes, while supporting valued caregivers.

“Budget 2024 includes increased funding for the Family and Friend Caregiver Support Program, which provides caregivers with services and knowledge to navigate the health-care system and, importantly, to enhance their own well-being while caring for a loved one. This support will expand the program to as many as seven new sites per year over the next three years.

“Today, I encourage all people in B.C. to acknowledge the tremendous contributions and compassion of caregivers to the lives of so many. We thank the more than one million caregivers across B.C. for all they do to improve the lives of their loved ones and neighbours.”

ist main, eby
Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC. Read free online or get the biweekly PDF by email.