Do you see yourself as a caregiver or an informal caregiver?
Does the emotional bond between you and the person you are caring for make your support “informal”? What exactly does it mean to be a caregiver?
In Quebec, there are approximately 1,489,000 caregivers (in French only). Are you one of them? Do you see yourself as a caregiver?
In October 2020, the Act to Recognize and Support Caregivers went into effect. From this law comes the National policy for caregivers—recognizing and supporting with respect for their wishes and ability to commit. Page 25 includes a definition of a caregiver:
… any person who provides support to one or more members of his or her immediate circle who has or have a temporary or permanent physical, psychological, psychosocial or other incapacity, regardless of their age or living environment, and with whom the person shares an emotional bond as a family member or otherwise. The support is continuous or occasional, and short—or long-term, and is provided on a non-professional basis and in a free, enlightened and revocable manner in order, among other things, to promote the care receiver’s recovery and the preservation and improvement of his or her quality of life at home or in other living environments.
Do you recognize yourself in these words? Do you feel like a caregiver, a natural caregiver or a helper?
Helper: any person who provides support to one or more members of his or her immediate circle who has or have a temporary or permanent physical, psychological, psychosocial or other incapacity;
It is you who decides what you want to call yourself, according to your situation, your experience, your knowledge, your willingness and ability in the scope of your commitment. At the end of this lexicon, you can define yourself as you choose:
☐ I am a helper.
☐ I am a family caregiver.
☐ I am a caregiver.
☐ I am an informal caregiver.
Aside from the vocabulary, what is most important is to know that there is support available to you and that you can access it.
Tax credits and financial support
Law and government
Am I entitled to a salary or wages?
We have just learned that our child has cancer. We are his parents, but are we also caregivers?
The law takes this into account. If you define yourself as such, the answer is yes. From that point on, and in view of your child’s illness and the difficulties you are facing, society recognizes the need to support you from a fiscal and administrative point of view and from a societal point of view in order to benefit from in-home assistance, respite care or other local resources.
I believe I am a caregiver. I need to discuss my situation. Who do I contact?
The Caregiver Support Helpline allows caregivers to call one number (or use one email address) to find the answer to their needs. A counsellor is available 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., to provide counselling, information, and suggest various local resources.
Aidons les nôtres. Me reconnaître en tant qu’aidant ?
Chaîne Youtube de l'Appui pour les proches aidants. Slam pour l'Appui Mathieu Lippé.
Conseil du statut de la femme. Les proches aidantes et les proches aidants au Québec. Analyse différenciée selon les sexes.
Gouvernement du Québec. Personne proche aidante.
Institut de la statistique du Québec. Les personnes proches aidantes au Québec en 2018.
Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé. Agir pour les aidants. Stratégie de mobilisation et de soutien 2020-2022.
Need to talk?
Contact our Caregiver Support Helpline for counselling, information et referrals.
Every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free of charge.