About Ontario Caregivers
Ontario caregivers remain the backbone in our healthcare system during COVID-19 and beyond. In so many ways, the pandemic has had immeasurable impact on close family members and friends who are providing care and additional support. Yet, caregivers often remain invisible as they face vulnerabilities and challenges.
In the depths of the pandemic, struggles and responsibilities have intensified. In OCO’s 3rd annual Spotlight Report, 31% of caregivers are providing more than 10 hours of care per week, which is up from 26% before the pandemic. 50% of caregivers are in desperate need of a break but have difficulties in finding additional support or time for themselves. The mental health of caregivers is also a concern – being amplified due to COVID-19 – caregivers are feeling lonely, isolated and depressed. While most caregivers are quick to say they are coping well, many are hesitant to admit they are struggling. It becomes clear that more than half of caregivers have high stress levels when it comes to managing their emotions and balancing the needs of the care recipient with work and family responsibilities. In addition, four in ten caregivers reported to have incurred significant financial increase to caregiving.
Unpaid caregivers are increasingly in need of support and care; it is crucial to shed light on their needs as much as the needs of the patients they look after.