New Report from The Change Foundation Takes a Closer Look at Family Caregivers in Ontario

Profile-Family-Caregivers-coverToday The Change Foundation (TCF) released A Profile of Family Caregivers in Ontario, an in-depth review of Ontario-specific data from Statistics Canada’s 2012 General Social Survey (GSS) on caregivers and caregiving. The report is the first of its kind for Ontario using the GSS and helps to paint a more complete picture of the province’s family caregivers in a number of key demographic categories.

“This report is an extremely comprehensive analysis of key data on Ontario caregivers” said President and CEO Cathy Fooks. “We’re excited to share this foundational resource for Ontario health care stakeholders, and we’re confident it can be an instrumental tool for policy and program development that supports caregivers.”

A Profile of Family Caregivers in Ontario covers a wide range of quantitative data on caregivers including gender, health, and socio-economic status.  The report also sheds important light on some of the reasons family caregivers provide care and what impacts these activities have on their lives.

The report’s key findings include:

  • An estimated 3.3 million Ontarians, 29% of the provincial population, are family caregivers.
  • 53% (1.8 million) of caregivers are women and 47% (1.5 million) are men.
  • Nearly three in 10 caregivers perform medical treatments such as tube feedings, wound care and injections.
  • 5 million Ontario caregivers are balancing caregiving duties with paid employment and of these caregivers:
    • 30% (741,000 people) were late for work or had to leave early;
    • 29% (735,000 people) missed an average of six days of work because of caregiving duties; and
    • 1% (33,000 caregivers) left their employment voluntarily or involuntarily.
  • One million caregivers said they felt they had no choice in taking on their caregiving responsibilities.

The publication of this report, and the research and engagement work completed by TCF in the first year of its strategic plan, serve as a call to action moving forward. The next phase of TCF’s work will be working with organizations that are interested in engaging, collaborating, and working differently with family members in support of a patient’s care. Further details on these opportunities will be made available in Fall 2016.

The Change Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the dedicated and substantial work of Research Associate Stephanie Hylmar in the analysis, writing, and editing of this report.

For more information about our engagement with family caregivers, or to download, A Profile Family Caregivers in Ontario, please visit

To find out more about the GSS, please contact Statistics Canada, or visit their website:

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