City applauds caregivers on Family Caregiver Day

April 3 at Toronto City Hall, Mayor John Tory, Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the City’s Community Development and Recreation Committee, and Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22 St. Paul’s), Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, celebrated Family Caregiver Day and recognized caregivers who care for family and friends in need of support. They were joined by ENRICHES Collaborative, Family Caregiver Voice and over twelve other partner organizations.
“Family caregivers represent almost 30% of Toronto’s population, providing unpaid care to family members and friends who need help due to a health condition, a disability or challenges related to aging,” said Mayor John Tory. “Caregiving is rewarding but it can also be emotionally, physically and financially stressful. This event allows us to give these everyday heroes some of the recognition that they deserve.”
Carole Ann Alloway, author and co-founder of Family Caregivers Voice, kicked off the event and two caregivers gave moving accounts of what it’s like to provide support for their loved ones. Attendees had an opportunity to participate in a speed mentoring session with experts in the caregiver profession, visit the interactive technology booth, and hear from a panel of speakers about caregiving supports. Event participants were also treated to magic and comedy by Broadway star Mark Correia.
“Family caregivers provide an important service in our communities,” said Councillor Pasternak. “It’s important that we support them and recognize the role they play in caring for some of our most vulnerable residents.”
The event was live-streamed to allow caregivers in different locations to participate.
“Many of us will be informal caregivers for family members, friends or neighbours at some point in our lives,” said Councillor Matlow. “This event is a wonderful opportunity for caregivers to learn more about programs and services available in the community as well as to be a source of support for one another.”
In January 2017, City Council passed a motion to proclaim April 3 as Family Caregiver Day. Toronto residents are encouraged to recognize the contribution of caregivers and to demonstrate their support and appreciation for their efforts on social media using the hashtag #Careitforward.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for Toronto to come together in support of this often invisible and vulnerable group of individuals that is such a crucial component to the wellbeing of our Toronto community,” said Dr. Joel Sadavoy, Chair of the ENRICHES Collaborative Steering Committee and Director of the Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training at Sinai Health System.
— Andrea Austen