One in four Canadians 15 and older have an additional responsibility on top of work or school and looking after their households: Providing care for a friend or family member with a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability, or problems related to aging can be extremely rewarding.
However, it can also be isolating and physically and emotionally exhausting. It can also have serious consequences for a caregiver’s physical health and wellbeing.
In research conducted by Health Quality Ontario, for example, one third of people who provided unpaid care to long-stay home-care patients experienced distress, anger, or depression in relation to their caregiver role, or were unable to continue.
How can you reduce the odds of these things happening if you’re providing care to a loved one?
Thank-you again to the interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise:
- Carole Ann Alloway, co-founder of Family Caregivers Voice.
- Angus Campbell, former executive director of the Caregivers Nova Scotia Association in Halifax.
- Dr. Janet Fast, PhD, professor and co-director of Research on Aging, Policies and Practice in the Human Ecology department at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
- Dr. Janice Keefe, PhD, director of the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax.
- Rick Lauber, author ofhttp://www.ricklauber.com/home/canadians/ Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians.
- Dr. Maureen Markle-Reid, PhD, an associate professor in the department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, and scientific director of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit at the School of Nursing at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
- Dr Jenny Ploeg, PhD, professor in the School of Nursing, and scientific director of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
- Sharon Roszel
- Mary Schulz, director of education at the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
- Dr. Joshua Tepper, a family physician, former president and CEO of Health Quality Ontario, and now a strategic advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Education.
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