Ontario Caregiver Survey 2024:
Let’s Keep the Momentum Going!
The 2024 Caregiver Survey will remain open until March 8th!
The Ontario Caregiver Coalition would like to extend our thanks to all the caregivers who have completed our 2024 Caregiver Survey since it was launched on January 31st, and to all of the organizations, friends and caregivers who have spread the word about our Survey far and wide.
Thanks to you, we are seeing great uptake of the Survey. As of Monday, February 12th – less than two weeks after our Survey launch – we have already had 312 completed surveys, with another 112 in progress.
A strong response to the Survey will deepen our understanding of what matters to the most to caregivers, so we can make the case for the changes caregivers need. And it will strengthen our voice with government, demonstrating the importance of this issue to families and communities across the province.
Let’s keep the momentum going!
If you are a caregiver who has not yet completed a Survey, please take 10 or 15 minutes to do so. And please take a few minutes to share the survey link with friends, colleagues, and partner organizations, and to post on social media. You can find the link to the survey, and to sample social media posts here. Together we can make a difference! The Survey will be open until end of day on Friday, March 8th.
Sneak Peek at Early Results
The Survey is already yielding some important insights about the experiences of unpaid caregivers in Ontario.
The lack of supports for caregivers comes at a cost: Of caregivers responding to the Survey, two-thirds had visited an emergency room because of a lack of supports. 42% had experienced a hospital admission. 38% had called 911. And 15% had resorted to admission to long-term care. The lack of supports for caregiving is adding to the strain on our health and long-term care systems. Investing in supports for caregiving now will add up to cost savings.
The Survey will shed light on diverse experiences of caregiving: There are many common threads across the caregiving experience, but there are also important differences in needs depending on the type of caregiving being provided. The needs of a person who is caring for an adult child with disabilities can be differ in some important respects from those of a person caring for a parent with dementia, for example. Our Survey will shed light on these diverse experiences. We will be able to understand how needs differ across types of caring. Thus far, about a third of those responding to our Survey are caring for a parent. About 20% are caring for a spouse. Another 20% are caring for a child under 18 who needs specialized supports. And about 22% are caring for an adult child with disabilities.
Caregivers urgently need supports for their mental, physical and emotional health: Respondents were asked to identify their top three areas of need. The number one response, at 54% of respondents, was for supports for mental, physical and emotional health, reflecting the toll of the current state of caregiving in Ontario. Other top priorities include support in juggling work and caring at 40%, system navigation at 37%, followed by financial supports, access to home care, and respite care, all hovering around 30% of respondents. These early responses point to the importance of thinking comprehensively about systems of support for caregiving, rather than relying on ad hoc responses.
We look forward to beginning to share Survey results in late June.
The greater the response rate, the more insights we will have to share. So please keep spreading the word!
Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence Release White Paper on Caregiving
The Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence (CCCE) has released its first whitepaper, Giving Care: An approach to a better caregiving landscape in Canada. The white paper is a result of extensive consultations with caregivers, care providers, recipients of care, thought leaders, service agencies, advocacy organizations and researchers from across the country. The report aims to ignite a public conversation on the state of caregiving and offer potential policy solutions to address the many challenges and systemic issues experienced by Canada’s 8+ million caregivers and care providers across the country. The report can be found here.
The More Beds, Better Care Act 2022, colloquially known as Bill 7, came into effect on September 21, 2022. The Act, passed without public hearings, aimed to facilitate the transfer of what are known as "Alternative Level of Care" patients from hospitals to long-term care placements. It does so by permitting placement co-ordinators and long-term care home operators to admit individuals to long-term care without their informed consent.
You can read the text of the Bill here.
The text of the Ministry of Health's and Ministry of Long-Term Care's implementation memo can be found here.
A plain language overview of the Bill and its implications can be found here.
Background material on the context and impact of Bill 7 can be found here.
The OCC's Open Letter to Government can be found here.