The basis of recognition starts with you. Not all caregivers recognize themselves as caregivers. It is often out of love that people take care of a loved one and this commitment is made as a continuation of the bond that already unites these two people. However, the support provided often goes beyond what it should in a child-parent or sibling relationship. Recognizing yourself as a caregiver is the first step in facing the challenges and risks of burnout that result from this role. For many, being a caregiver provides gratification, such as the pleasure of providing service, the privilege of developing a meaningful relationship with the care receiver or the feeling of accomplishing a duty. However, for some, being a caregiver is an obligation and the pleasure is not the same. These people need to find a source of appreciation in this “imposed” role, whether on their own by identifying their strengths or through their circle of family and friends, for example.
Recognition of caregiver status is also provided by society and levels of government. The contribution of caregivers to Quebec society is considerable and deserves to be highlighted. Quebec's National Caregiver Week is a nice example of recognition on a large scale. Some initiatives are starting to emerge in various communities regarding work-life balance and financial assistance. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done to advance this cause within our society.