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 Québec. 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.
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:
- Help with personal care and coordination of medical care and services,
- housework and home maintenance.
- 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:
- anxiety and stress
- irritability and anger
- 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 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 [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 [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 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.
- Telephone: 1-855-852-7784
- E-mail: email@example.com
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.
- Telephone: 514-524-1959
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.procheaidance.quebec (in French only)
Federation of Québec Alzheimer Societies
The 20 Alzheimer Societies in Québec 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.
- Montréal region: 514-369-7891
- Toll-free number: 1-888-636-6473
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Website: https://alzheimer.ca/federationquebecoise/en
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.
- Telephone: 438-384-1058
- Website: https://en.fondationemergence.org
Réseau pour un Québec Famille
Réseau pour un Québec Famille brings together Québec organizations from the community, municipal, union, education and health and social services sectors who are concerned about the circumstances of Quebec families.
- Telephone: 450-812-9465
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.quebecfamille.org (in French only)
Curateur public Assistance Measure
Offered by the Curateur public, the assistance measure provides assistance to a loved one in difficulty. In just one step, a person can be officially recognized as an intermediary for a loved one with third parties (departments, organizations, companies and professionals). The recognized assistant can then communicate in the name of the assisted person, namely by obtaining and transmitting information in the person’s name to advise and support the individual.
- Telephone (Montréal and area): 514-873-4074
- Telephone (toll free): 1-844-LECURATEUR (532‑8728)
- Website: Assistance Measure
Éducaloi helps the Québec population to better understand the law, their rights and responsibilities. Caregivers: Practical Legal Tools is a clear and accessible legal information source for any caregiver who wants to make informed decisions.
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 Québec.
- Montréal region: 514-762-2667
- Toll-free number: 1-855-762-2930
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Website: baluchonalzheimer.com (in French only)
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.
- Telephone: 514-722-5263
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.fondationmaisongillescarle.org (in French only)
Monastère des Augustines
The Monastère supports the health, wellbeing and life balance of caregivers.
- Québec region: 418-694-1639
- Toll-free number: 1-844-694-1639
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Website: www.monastere.ca
Care and service resources
Equijustice offers expertise in restorative justice and mediation.
- Telephone: 1-877-204-0250
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A telephone consultation service that provides you with information and advice regarding any concerns you may have about your health: Info-Santé 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 .
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.
- Telephone: 514-436-1642
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Website: fondationjeanne-mance.org (in French only)
Last update: April 3, 2023