A new study by the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence found that one in four Canadians is currently a caregiver. It’s a number that’s expected to grow significantly as the population ages.

“It’s been pretty alarming. We found that caregiving is really in a state of crisis,” said the centre’s Liv Mendelsohn. “Caregivers are really having a difficult time and unsupported.”

“Caregivers are suffering financially, their mental health is suffering,” said Liv Mendelsohn, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Caregiving Excellence. “Really, they are the unseen backbone of the healthcare system. For every hour that someone receives in the formal healthcare system, they are getting three hours of unpaid care at home. For most caregivers, it’s 20 hours a week.”