Feb. 12, 2014 /CNW/ – The Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) congratulates the Federal Government on their sustained commitment to supporting seniors to safely live in their homes with dignity, independence and quality of life.  The Economic Action Plan 2014 included a number of practice initiatives that will enable seniors to fulfill many important and diverse roles in their communities, as family members, caregivers, volunteers, workers and consumers.

Almost 1 million seniors currently receive home care services and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.  As the number of elderly people in the population increases, so will the prevalence of age-related chronic conditions that may jeopardize an individual’s ability to live independently in the community.  “The creation of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, announced in the Economic Action Plan 2014, is an important step in the journey to tackle the growing onset of dementia and related illnesses,” stated Jill Robbins, CHCA President.

Through the recognition of dementia as a chronic disease, with early diagnosis and proactive involvement of home care, individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, and their family caregivers can receive the supports they need in the right place at the right time.  Enhancing the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional $5 million annually will also provide opportunities for seniors to remain healthy, independent and active participants in their communities.

Family caregivers play a vital role in supporting individuals with debilitating physical, mental or cognitive conditions to remain in their homes and communities. They often provide more than 80 percent of care needed by individuals with long-term conditions, and their effort, understanding and compassion enable care recipients to live with dignity and to participate more fully in society.   “Caregiving does not come without a cost”, said Nadine Henningsen, Executive Director CHCA and President Canadian Caregiver Coalition (CCC).  “Employed family caregivers often face the challenge of two full-time jobs, spending 36.5 hours per week in their paid employment and another 30 hours per week providing unpaid care to their loved ones.  This situation has consequences for both the employee and the employer, including increased work interruptions, reduced productivity, missing work days, reducing work hours or foregoing job opportunities.”

The launch of a Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan, to engage with employers on cost-effective workplace solutions to help maximize caregivers’ labour market participation and identify promising workplace practices that support caregivers, is a significant advancement in supporting the vital role of caregivers in our health and social care systems.

The CHCA and CCC look forward to working with the Minister of State (Seniors) and other federal government stakeholders to support the implementation of these important announcements and to demonstrate that seniors are valued and protected through the establishment of initiatives that will prevent undue hardship as a result of deteriorating health and/or issues related to aging.

SOURCE Canadian Home Care Association
MORE INFO: http://actionplan.gc.ca/en/blog/economic-action-plan-2014