The Caregiver Recognition Act

6 December, 2018 – Today, MPP Jeremy Roberts led the first debate on the Caregiver Recognition Act, legislation that will make the awareness and proper treatment of caregivers a priority.

Almost one third of Ontarians are caregivers in some capacity. They provide critical care for friends and family without much in the way of help or recognition. These caregivers are vital to our healthcare system, and their importance will continue to grow as the population ages.

“This Bill is a conversation starter. It is my hope that this Bill will kick-start a robust conversation on how we can better support our caregivers and recognize all that they contribute”

“To all of those caregivers at home today who are struggling, know that we are listening. We know how much you do”

The Ontario Caregiver Coalition, a provincial advocacy body, says “Having the first Tuesday of April in each year proclaimed as Caregiver Recognition Day will be a valuable first step in creating more public awareness about the caregiving role, the value of caregiving contributions to society, and the need to sustain those contributions through appropriate supports.”

Commenting on the bill, the Cancer Care Survivor Network said “Staff and volunteers of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network often hear caregivers say, ‘our lives become the same as the person with the disease.’ Caregivers provide tremendous amounts of support and guidance for their loved ones. They provide personal care, prepare meals, look after household finances, assure adherence to medication and treatments schedules, drive their loved one to appointments, and so much more. One might ask, ‘who’s taking care of the caregiver?’”

The Caregiver Recognition Act establishes the first Tuesday in April as Caregiver Recognition Day. It also lays out principles for the treatment of caregivers by the healthcare system and makes the concerns of caregivers a priority for provincial policymakers.

Jeremy Roberts, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West – Nepean, was elected in June 2018 and has made the well being of patients and caregivers – especially those living with autism and their families – his personal priority. This is in part because of his own experience caring for his younger brother Dillon, who has autism.