Welcome to
our Blog


Empower Yourself.
Stay Informed & Live Your Best Life.

Learning to live healthy has never been so easy!
For more great articles straight to your inbox!

Struggles Of Working Caregivers And How To Help

As almost any Canadian knows, caregivers play a vital role in caring for and ensuring the well-being of vulnerable at-risk members of our society. With our population getting older, individuals stepping up and taking care of those who need help will only become more important. For this reason, understanding why caregiving impacts all Canadians (not just those who are receiving care) and figuring out the best way to support them in their caregiver duties is critical.

What is a caregiver? Caregiver walking with older women

What is a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who provides care and support to someone unable to fully care for themselves due to age, illness, disability, or other challenges. This care can encompass a wide range of tasks, from assisting with daily living activities like bathing and dressing to managing finances and medical appointments. Though ‘caregiver’ is a job that employs a significant portion of working Canadians, unpaid caregivers account for even more.

Paid Caregivers vs unpaid caregivers

Unpaid Caregivers vs In-home/Paid Caregivers

It's important to distinguish between unpaid caregivers and in-home/paid caregivers. Paid caregivers are trained professionals employed specifically to provide care to someone in their home. They are vital for people who are unable to provide around-the-clock care for a loved one or friend. Similarly,  unpaid caregivers are those who help take care of vulnerable individuals (often family members) but also face the challenge of balancing the demands of full-time employment.   

The Canadian Caregiver Landscape

Canada's aging population has contributed to the increasing demand for caregiving services. And with it, the number of unpaid caregivers is steadily increasing as well. Longer life expectancies and the transition of baby boomers into their senior years have led to a growing need for assistance and care-related support. As a result, more Canadians find themselves taking on caregiving roles, with many having to balance these responsibilities with their professional careers. Recent reports show that a staggering 1 in 3 employees (roughly 6 million Canadians) are balancing work and caregiving duties. Not only does this make juggling the various parts of one's life difficult, but it can also have negative financial consequences. 14% of employee caregivers who reduced their hours of work reported losing some or all of their benefits, such as extended health benefits, dental benefits, employer-provided pension, life insurance and prescription drug plans.

Working Caregivers (Unpaid)

Why supporting caregivers is important

 Unpaid caregivers are crucial pillars for Canada’s well-being and its economy. They provide an important service that ensures the well-being of their loved ones while contributing significantly to the Canadian economy. Without their caregiving help and continued commitment to their jobs, Canada would have a difficult time growing and investing in itself. However, managing these dual responsibilities can be incredibly demanding, leading to:

Increased Stress and Burnout

The non-stop juggling act of balancing work responsibilities and the physical and time dedication of caregiving can take a significant toll on a caregiver's physical and mental health. Stress, anxiety, and exhaustion are all common challenges faced by individuals taking care of loved ones. More often than not, scheduling caregiving duties does not perfectly lend itself to easy scheduling around paid work duties. This leads to employees needing to take additional time off from work or working odd or even longer hours to not fall behind.  

Work-Life Imbalance

Having a healthy balance between work and personal life can sometimes feel nearly impossible for working caregivers. The time requirements needed can lead to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and difficulty focusing at work. Oftentimes, a loved one requires around-the-clock care. With many Canadians unable to afford paid caregiving services, they end up deciding to not work as it is more cost-effective. This not only negatively impacts their career, but can also hurt the greater Canadian economy. 

Financial Strain

Caregiving can also come with financial strain for many Canadians. Unexpected expenses like costly assistive equipment or paying for in-home care can add up. And reduced work hours and the potential loss of employer-provided benefits can strain a
caregiver's finances.

How can we help caregivers in Canada?

Supporting caregivers in Canada isn’t just a nice thing to do. It’s the right thing to do, as it helps more than just the individual and their loved one. It helps Canada as a whole. By creating a more supportive environment, we can empower working caregivers to fulfill their vital roles more effectively and improve their overall well-being, which in turn, will allow them to participate in our community better. Here are some things that we could work on that could make a big difference:

Harnessing Technology for Caregiving

Investing in technological solutions can provide an extra helping hand for Canadians. Technology can be a powerful tool for working caregivers. Scheduling health appointments online can save time and reduce stress associated with doctor's visits. Caregiver apps can help manage schedules, medications, and communication. Exploring these options with caregivers can help them identify useful resources. Setting up home automation can help relieve you of tedious tasks and save you valuable time. Time that can be spent elsewhere. Medication reminders and medical alert services can give you an extra layer of peace of mind. Not having to worry and check in all the time can help when you are trying to enjoy personal time.

Education and Training

Providing training and educational opportunities for managers and colleagues on how to support working caregivers can help create a more inclusive and understanding workplace culture. And educating caregivers on the various support services and programs available to them can be a great help as well.  


Caregiver Support Networks

Working caregivers often feel overwhelmed and isolated. Families, friends, and neighbours can offer invaluable support by helping with errands, childcare, transportation, or simply providing a listening ear. Organizing caregiving circles or other means of organizations, where individuals can share responsibilities and offer mutual support can be a powerful way to alleviate the burden on working caregivers.

Promoting Self-Care

Working caregivers often neglect their well-being while caring for others. Creating relaxing and affordable spaces and encouraging them to explore mindfulness practices, meditation, or relaxation techniques can be a significant help. Identifying opportunities to provide additional support, whether it's adult day programs, in-home respite care, or short-term residential stays, can offer them much-needed breaks to recharge and help avoid burnout and declining mental health.


By allowing caregivers the ability to manage their caregiving duties and other responsibilities, while also taking the time to prioritize their well-being, all Canadians will see a benefit. Navigating the challenges of being a working caregiver is difficult. But with proper support, education, and help, the weight of the responsibility can feel a little less heavy, allowing us to invest in and support our community better.


This article is meant to be informational and should not replace the advice of a trained healthcare professional. What works for some individuals, might be harmful to others. Consult a professional before making any significant changes. 

Blog by: Maor Tsitrin, Marketing & Communications Assistant

For more great blogs straight to your inbox!