Media Release

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association urges all Canadians to Recognize and Support Family Caregivers: April 5 is National Family Caregiver Day


April 5, 2012

Ottawa, ON – It is estimated that annually, 23% of Canadians care for a family member or close friend with a serious health problem. A Caregiver is an individual who provides ongoing care and assistance, without pay, for family members and friends in need of support due to physical, cognitive, or mental health conditions.

Each year, April 5th is a day for family and informal caregivers – family, friends, neighbours – to be acknowledged and celebrated. The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) in partnership with We Care Home Health Services, have developed an awareness campaign around National Caregiver Day, to ensure that these Canadians are recognized for their hard work and dedication to their loved ones at the end of life.

“Governments have a vital role to play in raising awareness about the importance of caregiving and in establishing measures to better support this crucial group of people who contribute so much to our society,” says Sharon Baxter, Executive Director, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA). “Family caregivers face very real challenges in accessing services, balancing responsibilities, supporting loved ones and maintaining their own wellbeing.”

Based on an Ontario study, palliative care clients were cared for primarily by their spouses or partners (57%) or their children or children-in-law (29%). Caregiving can be a full-time job and an extended time commitment, with 60% of caregivers providing care for more than three years. Caregivers provide an incredible service to Canadians every year, and current estimates for replacement costs for unpaid caregiving in Canada range between 25 to 26 billion dollars.

All Canadians have the right to die with dignity, free of pain, surrounded by their loved ones, in a setting of their choice. It is crucial that the Canadian healthcare system have programs and services in place to ensure that all Canadians have access to services and programs to support them while caring for a friend or family member nearing the end of life.

The CHPCA campaign, “Caregiving at end-of-life: It takes heart!” focuses on providing interactive materials and tools for family caregivers and health care professionals. Online tools include posters, fact sheets, caregiver testimonials and more. The CHPCA will also kick off Caregiver Day 2012 with an interactive Online Event on April 5, 2012 at 1pm EST. To learn more about the CHPCA’s Caregiver Day awareness campaign or register for the Online Event, please go to

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For further information, please contact:
Vanessa Sherry
Communications Officer
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 613-241-3663 ext: 229

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association — the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada – is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in care for persons approaching death so that the burdens of suffering, loneliness and grief are lessened. The CHPCA operates in close partnership with other national organizations and continues to work to ensure that all Canadians, regardless of where they may live, have equal access to quality hospice palliative care services for themselves and their family.