With the first provincial caregiver policy on the horizon, Réseau FADOQ has published a brief containing 23 recommendations designed to meet caregivers’ actual needs.
The network is urging the Legault government to make an official definition of caregiver the centrepiece of its policy. It’s also crucial that the definition grant legal status to caregivers.
“Our organization believes that legal status is necessary for caregivers to obtain rights that will help them perform their daily tasks,” said Réseau FADOQ Chair Gisèle Tassé-Goodman.
The brief was presented to Minister Responsible for Seniors and Informal Caregivers Marguerite Blais and includes the following definition “Caregiver: a person who provides free, regular, and non-professional support to a loved one who is temporarily or permanently incapacitated.”
Access to medical records
Réseau FADOQ is calling for caregiver status that would provide access to care recipients’ medical records. That could mean records from a family doctor or pharmacological or dental records. Direct access to these documents, which contain crucial information about the individual’s health status, would be a big help to caregivers.
Review of the caregiver tax credit
Réseau FADOQ is calling for the CAQ government to double the amounts for each component of the caregiver tax credit so the amount paid out is $2,500.
“We are simply asking François Legault to keep his election promise and increase the caregiver tax credit to $2,500. The increase could easily be included in an economic update,” said Ms. Tassé-Goodman. 20% of caregivers are not financially secure, and their responsibilities result in the loss of an average of $16,000 in income per year.
Caregivers are under constant pressure. The government must implement a system that better supports them. To this end, Réseau FADOQ is emphasizing the need to allocate sufficient resources for home care and support in order to meet the needs of patients and caregivers.
”Caregivers should not be forgotten in the home health care equation. Their responsibilities can cause burnout, fatigue, and repetitive strain injuries. They must receive professional care. Accessing such help is currently much too difficult,” said Ms. Tassé-Goodman.
Réseau FADOQ is eagerly awaiting the release of the provincial caregiver policy. It’s high time for the government to prove that it’s committed to improving conditions for caregivers.
See the brief from Réseau FADOQ (French only).