Caring in Canada: Survey insights from caregivers and care providers across Canada

Orange background with two older Asian women, one of whom is a caregiver. With text: Caring in Canada, survey insights from caregivers and care providers across Canada

Caring in Canada provides an in-depth analysis of the survey results collected in the National Caregiving Survey completed by more than 3,000 caregivers and care providers from across Canada. The survey, conducted by Leger Communications offers new insights into the experiences of caregivers and care providers across Canada.

As part of our commitment to serving equity seeking groups, the report oversampled Indigenous caregivers and offers insights from racialized, LGBTQ2S+, young caregivers and siblings.

Data highlights:

  • Caregiving takes a toll on a caregiver’s wellbeing. One in four caregivers report fair or poor mental health. Caregivers are feeling tired (47%), worried or anxious (44%), or overwhelmed (37%) because of caregiving responsibilities.
  • Caregivers are working an “extra-shift.” Caregivers provide an average of 5.1 hours of care a day, adding up to over 30 hours of unpaid care, or almost the equivalent of a full-time job.
  • Many caregivers are 65+ and may also need care. Nearly one in five caregivers are over the age of 65. Senior caregivers are least likely to access any services or supports to help their responsibilities – from home modifications, to respite or transportation services.
  • Caregiving can have a significant financial toll. Half of caregivers have experienced financial stress in the past year due to caregiving. One in five (22%) caregivers has provided financial support to their care recipient, with 22% also reporting having spent at least $1,000 per month on out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Care provider shortage linked to poor working conditions. 80% of paid care providers, such as Personal Support Workers or Direct Support Professionals for people with disabilities, have considered changing careers, citing low compensation, inadequate staffing, discrimination and lack of safety at work.
  • Diverse communities face additional barriers and gaps in supports. Racialized, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+ caregivers are more likely to experience negative impacts of care. For example, almost half of racialized caregivers have experienced financial hardship due to caregiving, compared to 34% of non-racialized caregivers.

In addition to exploring the survey results, the report also dives into policy recommendations to make Canada the greatest place in the world to give and receive care.