Recognizing an informal or family caregiver

Informal and family caregivers can be any age and come from any environment. We have nearly 1,500,000 informal and family caregivers in Quebec. They are making an exceptional contribution to society with the help they provide. However, informal and family caregivers may need special support and services. There are various services and organizations available to help them. Therefore, it is important to recognize the informal or family caregivers around you but also to recognize your own role as an informal or family caregiver.

Profile of an informal or family caregiver

Definition

Any person who provides support to one or more members of their immediate circle who has a temporary or permanent physical, psychological, psychosocial or other disability, 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, informed 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. It may take various forms, such as transportation, assistance with personal care and housekeeping, emotional support, or coordination of care and services. The support may also have financial repercussions on caregivers or limit their capacity to take care of their own physical and mental health or fulfil their other social and family responsibilities.

Type of support

The support provided by the informal or family caregiver could take many forms, such as:

  • Transport;
  • Help with personal care and coordination of medical care and services,
  • housework and home maintenance.
  • Banking,
  • Legal and statutory obligations,
  • Support with social participation (social, sports and cultural activities, studies, job integration, etc.),
  • Emotional, psychological and social support.

Consequences and needs

The support could have financial repercussions on the informal or family caregiver. It can also limit the caregiver’s ability to look after their own physical and mental health or handle other social and family responsibilities. Informal and family caregivers can also experience the following:

  • worry
  • anxiety and stress
  • fatigue
  • irritability and anger
  • abuse
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • social isolation
  • tardiness, reduction of work hours and absenteeism from work
  • absences from school and the risk of putting off or giving up school
  • delays in submitting work reduction of study hours and difficulty concentrating in class
  • change in the relationship between the caregiver and the care receiver.

Considering the impact on caregivers, they will have different needs during the time they provide support. Their primary needs are:

  • respite services
  • individual and group psychosocial support
  • flexibility at work and at school
  • information and training
  • financial and material support
  • support with daily and domestic activities
  • information and services in their mother tongue.

Act to recognize and support caregivers

The Act to recognize and support caregivers This hyperlink will open in a new window. commits the Quebec government to a number of legal obligations, including adopting a national policy for caregivers and implementing a government action plan every five years. This Act led to the National policy for caregivers – recognizing and supporting with respect for their wishes and ability to commit This hyperlink will open in a new window. [in French only], which is intended to improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing of caregivers, regardless of their age, living environment or the nature of disability of the people they support, and considering all aspects of their life. The first Government action plan for caregivers (2021-2026) – Recognize to better support This hyperlink will open in a new window. [in French only] was adopted to state the actions that will be undertaken in response to the National Policy.

Tax credit for caregivers

Some caregivers may benefit from a tax credit. For more information, see the Revenu Québec Tax Credit for Caregivers This hyperlink will open in a new window. page.

Help and support resources

If you are an informal or family caregiver, there are resources available to help you.

Caregiver Support service

Caregiver Support is a professional, confidential and free service for caregivers and their immediate circle, caseworkers and health professionals.

Équijustice

Equijustice offers expertise in restorative justice and mediation.

Info-Santé 811

A telephone consultation service that provides you with information and advice regarding any concerns you may have about your health: Info-Santé 811

Info-Social 811

Psychosocial telephone advice and referral: Info-Social 811

Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSS) and Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS)

You can contact the CISSS or CIUSSS in your region to speak confidentially with a healthcare professional for free. The healthcare professional can evaluate your needs and guide you towards the appropriate resource.

To find contact information for your CISSS or your CIUSSS, go to Finding your CISSS or your CIUSSS This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Proche aidance Québec

Proche aidance Québec brings together 124 community organizations in Quebec that support caregivers. The mission of these organizations is to improve caregivers’ living conditions by alleviating the impoverishment and exhaustion they are experiencing.

Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies

The 20 Alzheimer Societies in Quebec offer advice and services to people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their loved ones, from the time of diagnosis, to help them better cope with the illness.

Baluchon Alzheimer

Baluchon Alzheimer offers respite, support and accompaniment to caregivers who want to keep their loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness at home. It offers long-term respite services (4 to 14 days) at home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its services are available across Quebec.

Fondation Maison Gilles-Carle

The mission of the Fondation Maison Gilles-Carle is to offer support and respite to caregivers by offering their loved ones high-quality temporary accommodations.

Fondation Émergence/Chosen Family

Chosen Family’s mission is to support and inform caregivers of LGBTQ+ seniors about existing services and help them develop knowledge to assist them in their role.

Monastère des Augustines

The Monastère supports the health, wellbeing and life balance of caregivers.

Fondation Jeanne Mance

The Fondation Jeanne Mance offers professional in-home accompaniment services to people in the final stage of life and their loves ones by focussing on spiritual needs.

Réseau pour un Québec Famille

Réseau pour un Québec Famille brings together Quebec organizations from the community, municipal, union, education and health and social services sectors who are concerned about the circumstances of Quebec families.