Help line launched for caregivers in Ontario as survey shows increasing stress
A man and child hold hands in Springfield, Mass. in a Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 photo. Charles Krupa / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, November 5, 2019 5:46AM EST
Family caregivers in Ontario now have a help line if they're needing respite, a support group or information on issues including tax credits.
The Ontario Caregiver Organization's CEO Amy Coupal says caregivers are experiencing frustration and even depression as a result of their responsibilities and have responded to a survey saying it's challenging to find support.
She says a third of caregivers are not coping well emotionally and that number increases to more than half for those caring for someone with a mental-health issue.
The help line connects caregivers to a community resource representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a live chat site is also available between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., during weekdays.
An online survey by The Change Foundation and the caregiver organization included 800 caregivers and was conducted provincewide in the spring, showing 56 per cent of respondents find the process difficult, compared with 39 per cent last year, and more of them are now under financial strain.
The groups say emotional support for both patients and caregivers is the one area where more help is needed, and that hasn't changed from the first annual survey in 2018.