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  • News
  • April 04, 2017

Support for Caregivers Making a Difference for Families in Markham-Unionville

Ontario Funding Respite Services to Help Families Care for Loved Ones

Today — on National Family Caregiver Day — MPP Michael Chan is thanking people in Markham-Unionville for the work they do every day to care for their loved ones. A caregiver is someone who takes on the unpaid role of helping a family member or loved one with their physical or cognitive condition, injury or chronic life-limiting illness.

“I am so proud of our government’s support for family caregivers.  These giving individuals make such a difference in the lives of their loved ones through the care and comfort they provide and are well-deserving of opportunities for their own respite.”
Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville

This year, Ontario expanded supports for people caring for their loved ones at home in the Central Local Health Integration Network region (CLHIN). within which Markham-Unionville is located, by increasing access to respite services for over 1,500 local families.

Investments from the province have allowed the Central Community Care Access Centre (CCCAC) to expand their services to local families helping them to care for their loved ones at home.

At 99 years old, Laura Pummell has lived with Alzheimer’s disease for close to 20 years. While long-term care may be necessary in the future, her family's goal is to keep their mom in the comfort and familiarity of home as long as possible.

Laura requires a wheelchair and is fully dependent on her caregivers for all daily living activities and personal care. She receives personal support each day from the CCCAC.  Recently, to help Laura remain safely in the community, her CCCAC Care Coordinator arranged for occupational therapy and additional hours of personal support to assist with Laura’s daily personal care and to give Kathrine, one of Laura’s daughters and her primary caregiver, a much-needed break.

Kathrine says that caring for someone in her mother’s condition is very challenging, and having even a Saturday afternoon free really helps with her own mental welfare. She also appreciates the extra respite care as it makes it possible for her to continue caring for her mom at home.

Ontario’s support has allowed for approximately 600,000 additional hours of respite services for caregivers across the province this year.

Supporting patients and their caregivers is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. This plan is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.

“Improving home and community care is one of our government’s most important health care priorities. Informal caregivers, like family members and friends, contribute to more than seventy per cent of their loved ones’ caregiving needs, and we know how stressful that can be. We want to ensure caregivers are supported and able to take rests from providing care to their loved ones.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“With over 3 million Ontarians providing some form of care or support to a family or friend, these contributions are recognized as vitally important to our local health care system. Caregivers share their challenges and stories with us about the personal, social, psychological and physical assistance and care that they’re providing to their loved ones. The Central Local Health Integration Network is proud to work with and invest in 33 home and community care and support services providers who provide a wide range of programs, services and supports to patients, clients and caregivers.”
— Kim Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Central Local Health Integration Network


  • Informal caregivers represent approximately one in five Ontarians.
  • The province has invested $2.7 million to better support caregivers in the Central Local Health Integration Network.
  • Ontario invested $100 million last year to enhance support for home care clients with high needs and their caregivers.
  • The investment provided $80 million to support enhanced care for clients who are most in need and $20 million for caregiver respite, allowing caregivers who need it the most to take rests from providing care to their loved ones.
  • Through consultations with people in Ontario and members of Ontario's Patient and Caregiver Advisory Table, the province recently established a Statement of Home and Community Care Values . This statement reflects the needs and priorities of home and community care clients and their caregivers and ensures their values are reflected in the care they receive.
  • These initiatives support the commitments made in Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care.


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