April 5th 2022 is National Caregiver Day!
The pandemic has made the role of the family caregiver harder than it has ever been before. More caregivers are investing 10+ hours a week providing care to a family member, friend or neighbour. More caregivers say they feel exhausted, overwhelmed, trapped, and worried. Half say their mental health has declined since last year.
On National Caregiver Day, the OCO is partnering with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Caregiver Collaborative to thank family caregivers and let them know we see you, we hear you and we’re here to help.
Learn more about the resources available in the Toronto area, through the Caregiver Collaborative. If you are a caregiver living outside of the Toronto area, call the 24/7 Caregiver Helpline to find resources in your community 1.833.416.2273.
Watch our special video for Caregiver Day!
Use the hashtag #SupportACaregiver2022
How OCO Can Help Caregivers
The OCO offers free programs and services to Ontario’s 4 million caregivers across the province. How we can help:
What Can I Do To Support Caregivers?
Things we can all do to make a difference
We all know a caregiver and we can all do something to help. How?
You can learn more about the Ontario Caregiver Organization and its programs and services at ontariocaregiver.ca. You can also review the list below for ideas on what you can do to help. Contribute to the conversation by sharing other ideas on social using #wecanallhelpacaregiver. Be sure to tag @CaregiverON.
Are you a health care or community service provider?
• Ask caregivers how they’re doing. A simple “how are you” makes a difference
• Recognize and engage caregivers as essential partners in care, include them in decision making and provide them with the information they need to be successful. To the best of your ability, explain what they can expect next
• Check out resources on our website to support meaningful caregiver engagement and our Partners in Care Tool Kit created with health care providers and caregivers to help support access in care settings
• Take our e-Learning modules for health care providers, setting the foundations for building a culture of care partnerships
• Visit our dedicated page to find more resources to support care providers
• Collaborate with us on how we can support your organization in engaging caregivers as partners
• Refer caregivers to the Ontario Caregiver Organization to access programs and supports at ontariocaregiver.ca
• Refer caregivers to the 24/7 Ontario Caregiver Helpline at 1 833 416 2273 (CARE) to find resources in their area
Are you an Employer?
• Create a caregiver-friendly workplace by demonstrating your commitment to caregiver employees through enhanced HR policies, supportive conversations, and flexible work options
• Engage with your employees to identify caregivers in your organization and determine what they need to help balance work and caregiving
• Work with the Ontario Caregiver Organization to host training and information sessions for your managers and staff
• Check out our Guide for Employers and Employer e-Module to determine what strategies may be helpful in your workplace
• Share information about the Ontario Caregiver Organization; our 24/7 Helpline at 1 833 416 2273 and point them to resources available at ontariocaregiver.ca including the Peer Support Programs and educational webinars
• Ensure they have access to information in your Employee Assistance Program
• Caregiving situations can change over time. Check in with your employee, ask how they’re doing, it can make a difference
Are you an Educator?
• Caregivers are children and youth too. Identify caregivers in your classrooms. Ask how they’re doing. It can make a difference
• Provide reasonable accommodations to your students who are caregivers. Flexible deadlines, recorded lessons, and notetakers can help these students keep up with their education responsibilities while balancing their caregiver responsibilities
• Refer young caregivers to YoungCaregiversConnect.ca and the Ontario Caregiver Organization where they can access information, programs, and supports including the Peer Support Program
Are you a friend or neighbour?
• Ask caregivers how they are doing. It’s a simple thing that makes a significant difference
• Tell caregivers about the Ontario Caregiver Organization and let them know we have resources and programs that may help
• Offer practical help and support to the caregiver(s) you know. Caregivers are often reluctant to ask for help but providing practical or emotional support may make a significant difference. This could include errands, day to day tasks, providing food or a simple phone call to check in with the caregiver on how they are doing
The Toronto Caregiver Collaboration Forum, is a Toronto and GTA based committee, with a mandate of advising on and advocating for the development of Caregiver related strategies, policy changes and service development, to improve the experiences of caregivers and to enable a close alignment of services through caregiver lived experiences.
Members the Toronto Caregiver Collaborative Forum are:
To access resources in your community, please call OCO’s 24/7 Caregiver Helpline at 1-833-416-CARE (2273).