Caregivers are invaluable, yet invisible

Re: “Unpaid caregivers carry huge load,” letter, Feb. 2.

The writer highlights one of the biggest issues facing our aging population: caregiving. More than one in four Canadians are caregivers, providing over 80 per cent of the care we need.

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For every hour of care provided by the system, families and friends provide 10. When our population of seniors doubles by 2030, so, too, will the number of caregivers. The current reality is that caregivers are invaluable and yet invisible.

As private citizens, we typically don’t plan to be a caregiver. We don’t think about spending our golden years caring for our spouse, or our primary earning years caring for our parents as part of the sandwich generation.

Our health system has declared “home is best,” without a robust strategy to support care at home. It is both a private and public matter that demands a higher priority in our thinking and planning.

If you are a caregiver, we’d like to hear from you. We’re here to help.

Barb MacLean, executive director

Family Caregivers of B.C.

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