Family Caregivers of BC is pleased BC’s Seniors Advocate is once again raising the issue of caregiver distress. In the current report “Caregivers in Distress – A Growing Problem”, she points to a 7% increase in the percentage of Home Support clients who have a primary caregiver in distress, which equates to roughly 1,000 caregivers; a 14% increase in actual numbers since her first report “Caregivers in Distress – More Respite Needed” was published in 2015.
These numbers reflect only the caregivers whose care recipients are receiving Home Support services. There are many more caregivers in the community whose loved ones are not Home Support clients. You can read the full report here.
These findings reinforce what we experience daily on the front lines of caregiver support. Call volumes to our Province-wide Caregiver Support Line are growing, and many caregivers are coping with increasingly complex caregiving situations. We are spending more time on each call and many are referred to our 1:1 Caregiver Coaching service to receive in depth support. We’re noting more caregivers are distressed which translates into feelings of depression, confusion, overwhelm, and uncertainty about how they can continue.
We support family caregivers by referring them to caregiver support groups, resources in their local communities, service options from our online resource library, our quarterly newsletter, and our educational webinars. We also provide assistance in setting up peer led caregiver support groups.
It is our mandate to ensure no one provides care alone. We work hard to ensure the voice of family caregivers is represented in health system design and implementation, and that health care providers are aware of important role they can play in identifying and referring family caregivers to our services.