What is National Family Caregiver Day?
On the first Tuesday of April, Canadians come together to recognize family members, friends,
neighbours and other significant people who take on a caring role to support someone with a
diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-limiting
illness. National Family Caregiver Day encourages all Canadians to pay tribute to and recognize the
valuable contribution of family caregivers to our lives and our society as a whole.
In 2015, we will celebrate National Family Caregiver Day on April 7.
History of the day
In April 2010, the Parliament of Canada unanimously adopted a motion declaring the first Tuesday in
April as “The Invisible Work Day.” This day was designated to recognize the importance of the
“invisible” unpaid work carried out by parents and caregivers on behalf of their children and aging
family members, as well as the volunteer work done in the community. Canada is the first country in
the world to create this day.
As family caregivers are increasingly receiving public attention, the first Tuesday in April has
been interchangeably known as “National Family Caregiver Day.”
Why is it important to recognize and support family caregivers?
Family caregivers are the invisible back bone of our health care system and provide over 80 percent
of the care needed by individuals with long-term conditions. Their dedication, selflessness and
compassion not only enhance the quality of life for the person they care for, but also contribute
to the sustainability of our health care system. It is estimated that family caregivers provide
$25–30 billion dollars of unpaid care every year. Over 8 million Canadians have taken on this
caring role, and this number is expected to increase due to our aging population.
Although caregiving is a rewarding experience, it does not come without a cost. Family caregivers
often sacrifice their own physical, financial and psychosocial well-being to provide care to loved
ones. For this reason, on National Family Caregiver Day, we collectively recognize the essential
role family caregivers play in the lives of patients, in the health and social care
systems and in our society.
For more information on National Caregiver Day, please visit Canadian Caregiver Coalition.