Caregiver, caregiver, caregiver? Two words we often hear in the media and in political speeches. Yet, two words whose meaning remains vague for most of us. Two words that many people do not identify with.

Are you one of those people who say it’s okay to help a loved one? That it’s the natural order of things?

I don’t disagree. But, “do you know that persons who voluntarily provide care, services or accompaniment, without remuneration, to a person close to them with one or more temporary or permanent disabilities (accident, disability, illness, ageing, etc.) and for whom they have an emotional bond (father, mother, spouse, child, brother, sister, neighbour, friend, etc.) are family caregivers”. Even if they do not live at the same address as the person being helped! Even if they are not solicited 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Given that:

  • 7 to 15% of needs (the situation varies from one region to another) are met by health professionals and the rest by family caregivers,
  • Studies show, beyond any doubt, that family caregivers are the backbone of the actual organization of health services,
  • 86% of family caregivers are women, the majority of whom are low-income and cannot afford to pay for help,
  • 63% of caregivers die before the person being cared for,

The status of caregiver, certified by a health professional, is recognized by the Act respecting labour standards since the summer of 2018. New measures for family caregivers have been in effect since then.

The aging of the population is a reality in Quebec. One in five employees is a caregiver, the majority of whom are women. Of these findings, Center stage sees the need to promote access to employment and job retention for these women. We offer specific assistance to family caregivers, thanks to funding from the Appui Capitale-Nationale pour les proches aidants d’aînés.

The three service components offered free of charge at Centre étape are :

  • Self-help groups
  • Individual support
  • Thematic Conferences

These services are evolving and adapting to the needs of caregivers. Self-help groups take place at Centre étape, or in various workplaces, over lunch hour. In the workplace, the groups are open to employees, women and men without distinction. These meetings allow participants to share their experiences, the difficulties they have encountered, as well as relevant information. They take place every three weeks.

Individual support is offered to participants in self-help groups, with the aim of ensuring positive changes in their life situations.

Finally, evening lectures are offered to the general public on topics relevant to the daily lives of people who care for seniors. These are open to all, men and women, and are offered free of charge, in collaboration with external resources.

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