Spotlight on Don and Stephane

Stephane is a young caregiver who lives in Ottawa and assists with caring for his younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Stephane had to put his education, career aspirations and personal life on hold to care for his brother. Stephane is not alone. Research has shown that over 1.25 million Canadian youth between the ages of 15 to 24 provided unpaid caregiving.

Don has been caring for his wife since her diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer’s five years ago. For Don, the experience has been a challenging and emotional journey. He has only recently realized the impact of caregiving on his mental health and how isolating it can be. He turns to many different peer groups for support.

The financial, social and education impacts of caregiving are real. There are life-long implications, for example, for a young caregiver who delays education or a mother of a young child who puts off going back to work due to caregiving responsibilities.

 

The Impact of Caring

Caregivers are under an enormous amount of stress. This can leave them feeling overwhelmed, helpless and frustrated despite their efforts to be positive and optimistic.

  • Caregiving involves a variety of tasks, from transportation (68%), to emotional (72%) and physical support (32%). Fifty-four per cent of caregivers stay up at night, even when the caregiver has other responsibilities to juggle.
  • Nearly half of caregivers feel negative impacts on their personal time (51%), travel plans (49%), and social life (48%) – including spousal relationships (37%) and friendships (48%). Caregiving also impacts their physical health (41%) and mental health (49%).
  • Forty-one per cent say caregiving has impacted their physical health, between 25-39% made special arrangements at work to manage caregiving duties and 15% postponed enrolling in education or training.
  • Fifty-seven per cent of workplaces try to make concessions to allow their employees to handle caregiving. But 32% say their workplace doesn’t even try.
  • Eight per cent, or almost 250,000 caregivers, lost their jobs as a direct result of their caregiving responsibilities.
  • Twenty-two per cent, or more than 600,000 caregivers, have faced some financial hardship due to caregiving.

Impact of Caregiving infographic

Impact of Caregiving infographic

49%

of caregivers feel the negative impact of caregiving on their mental health.

41%

of caregivers say caregiving has impacted their physical health.

Spotlight on Caregivers 2018

To better understand the experience of family caregivers in Ontario, we asked 800 caregivers questions about their role within the healthcare system, the type of tasks they are engaged in, the time and financial commitment required, and the impact caregiving as had on their lives.

Please read the Spotlight on Caregivers report to better understand the experience, profile and needs of family caregivers in Ontario.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE IMPACT OF CAREGIVING THROUGH DATA

Learn more about how caregivers like Stephane and Don perceive the impact of caregiving through our survey data.

Click on the topics to explore data and build your own impact of caregiving data visualization page.

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WHAT’S BEING SAID

The project leads for the Cultivating Change Changing CARE team share their insights and experience on co-design. To hear more from the team and the others, register for Hot Talks on Health on January 28, 2019: bit.ly/2EuqQNC #TCFHotTalks #ChangingCARE pic.twitter.com/cCm9NbG6vl