Advice for professionals and society – Susan


Susan stresses the importance of adequate policies among employers.


All of the continuum of care, there are caregivers involved. And I think that caregiving is noticeably absent from policy in all the sectors. So, I would hope that there would be influence from researchers. And once again, we’re very fortunate in this province because we do have people who do research on caregiving and they’re also involved in the province; they actually have an opportunity to influence policymaking, but I would hope that happens in all jurisdictions. Also, I think there’s a noticeable absence of caregiver… appreciation of caregivers in employment; not government policy but employment policy, both private and public sector. If somebody has a child who has got mumps or something—some illness—people don’t think twice of, well, they can go home from work and look after the child or go home and pick the child up from school if they’re sick, whatever that case may be. But there isn’t the same appreciation of that for the elder care that’s involved for many people in the employment roles of… well all across Canada. As our parents age and as our caregiving responsibilities increase, there’s an absolute need for employers to be sensitive to that, and to build in employment policies that enable people to… I’m aware of one organization that gives people—it’s probably a health district—that gives people—I forget the number of days—like three days to go and set up services for the person for whom they’re caregiving, whether it’s a spouse or an elderly parent. Well, we all know that that’s not going to do the trick. Three days is not going to touch it. So there needs to be more appreciation of how long it does take to get things in place. And even with things in place, there still needs to be an increased involvement of the caregiver, probably in the life of that dependent person. So, I don’t think there are adequate policies in place by almost any employer.

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