On April 4, CMHA Niagara joins organizations and communities across the province for Family Caregiver Day, a chance to recognize and celebrate the value of caregivers to Ontario’s families, health care system, and economy.

According to the Ontario Caregiver Coalition, there are over 3 million unpaid caregivers in the province, providing support to loved ones facing illness, mental health issues, disability or challenges associated with aging. More than 500,000 family caregivers in Ontario are between 15 and 24 years old, and nearly 375,000 caregivers are 65 years and older.

Caregivers are typically not perceived as a population in need of care and support, despite the fact that many caregivers feel socially isolated. Some are not aware that caregiving is distinct from being a good friend, child, parent or spouse. CMHA recognizes that caregiving is a specific role with unique challenges and solutions.

To raise awareness about the importance of caregivers, members of the public are encouraged to share messages of support on social media using the hashtag #careitforward or sign an online thank you card for caregivers.