Many caregivers face social, financial, mental, physical and career challenges due to their caregiving duties. In 2018, one in four Canadians aged 15 years and older (7.8 million people) reported providing care for family members or friends with a long-term condition, a physical or mental disability, or problems related to aging1.

The impacts of caregiving are well documented: caregivers have higher rates of depression, are in poorer physical health and are more likely to be socially isolated. Caregiving also impacts economic well-being, with out-of-pocket expenses and employment consequences affecting caregivers even once their caregiving journey is over.

Caregiving can leave caregivers feeling tired, overwhelmed, and short-tempered and can harm their overall health.

Caregiving can have ripple effects over other areas of a caregiver’s life too. As a result of less free time, caregivers often experience strained relationships with family and friends and they don’t have free time to spend enjoying hobbies or social activities—all of which are necessary outlets for positive well-being.

While caregiving can strengthen relationships between the carer and the care recipient, it can also damage other relationships in the caregiver’s life, causing strain on relationships with family or friends.

Two in three (63%) Alberta caregivers are between the ages of 30 and 64: prime employment years. As a result, many experience negative impacts on their ability to maintain gainful employment and good finances. Caregiving responsibilities can cause caregivers to miss paid workdays, reduce paid work hours, or even exit the workforce entirely.

1 Differences in the characteristics of caregivers and caregiving arrangements of Canadians, 2018