Toronto’s strategy for senior caregivers needs
Sometimes we depend so heavily on our caregivers, we forget you have needs of their own. To combat the issue, Toronto plans to partner with the Province of Ontario to emphasise your fast-growing needs.
Policies supporting reduced stays in hospitals and increased premature home care can have negative impacts on caregivers, as patients are moving home “sicker and quicker” than before.
Home care is promoted as a cost-effective alternative to long hospital stays and facility placement. These programs are only cost-effective because it’s assumed family and friends are available and willing to assist in this provision of care, which isn’t always the case.
Caregiver support includes:
Policies, usually in the form of education and counselling services for caregivers, are known to be limited and are often provided through voluntary agencies.
There is an employment leave policy, entitled “Compassionate Care Benefit” which allows you up to 55 percent of your salary for six weeks to care for a terminally ill spouse, child, or parent.
- Home-care policies:
Suggested changes to this includes making caregiver assessment part of the policy and increasing available services for you by expanding the “caregiver” definition.
- Workplace policies:
Suggested changes include broadening eligibility criteria and extending the length of leave; adding family leave days; and providing incentives to private workplaces to expand their policies on family leave to include eldercare responsibilities.
- Income security policies:
Suggested changes include financially supporting you through a non-taxable allowance; implementing a refundable tax credit for caregivers so that all caregivers will benefit from the tax credit.
Respite care can offer you a brief period of relief or rest (usually more than twenty-four hours), if you are a regular caregiver and is a great way to get some much-earned support and rest.
For additional information on caregiver support, you can also visit CaregiverExchange.ca.