This year, Ontario increased supports for people caring for their loved ones at home in the South East region, by increasing access to respite services for 60 local families.
Today — on National Family Caregiver Day —MPP Sophie Kiwala is thanking people in Kingston and the Islands for the work they do every day to care for their loved ones. A caregiver is someone who takes on the unpaid role of helping a family member or loved one with their physical or cognitive condition, injury or chronic life-limiting illness.
For the South East LHIN, investments from the province have allowed the South East Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) to expand respite services to support caregivers who are experiencing greater burden and increased distress due to providing care for a high needs patient. Eligible caregivers can receive an additional four hours of respite care per week. The caregiver is able to choose when and how they wish to use this time.
As the family caregiver for her husband Paul who recently had a stroke, Carol Turpin appreciates the respite care she receives through the CCAC.
"This service is great for people who need some respite from caregiving responsibilities so they can take care of themselves," says Carol. "I use that time so I can participate in the book club at my local church which I was previously unable to attend until I began receiving respite support in January. I think the government is on the right track by investing to help family caregivers so more people can remain in their own homes."
Ontario’s support has allowed for approximately 600,000 additional hours of respite services for caregivers across the province this year.
Supporting patients and their caregivers is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. This plan is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.
“Improving home and community care is one of our government’s most important health care priorities. Informal caregivers, like family members and friends, contribute to more than seventy per cent of their loved ones’ caregiving needs, and we know how stressful that can be. We want to ensure caregivers are supported and able to take rests from providing care to their loved ones.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“Caregivers assume the role of doctor, nurse, counsellor, friend, and advocate. They give time and love unreservedly, even when it means that their own families, friendships and work might suffer in the process. I believe that the will and desire to be a caregiver is deeply instinctual for many and it speaks most profoundly to who we are as human beings. Our plan acknowledges this special role and helps family caregivers get the appropriate support they need to provide the best possible care in the home. A few hours of respite a week will have a very positive impact during some of life’s most challenging moments.”
— Sophie Kiwala, MPP, Kingston and the Islands
“Caregivers play such a significant role in helping to keep loved ones at home while continuing to receive the care they need. Often, this valuable role can increase stress on the caregiver which can begin to affect their own well-being. Investing in our home and community care sector and continuing to support caregivers by providing relief such as respite care, help to ensure their needs are being met and their own health remains a priority”
— Paul Huras, CEO South East LHIN