The cost to employers in lost productivity because of caregiving-related absenteeism is estimated at $5.5 billion annually. Caregivers also report high out-of-pocket expenses. This is especially true for those living with the care recipient: over 25% spend at least $2,000 annually on out-of-pocket expenses.
The federal government’s commitment to provide $6 billion over 10 years to the provinces and territories for home care, including support for caregivers, is a welcomed step toward improving opportunities for seniors to remain in their homes.
As with previous bilateral funding agreements, it will be important to establish clear operating principles between the parties to oversee the funding implementation including support for caregivers.
The CMA recommends that the federal government develop explicit operating principles for the home care funding that has been negotiated with the provinces and territories to recognize funding for caregivers and respite care as eligible areas of investment.