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Supporting Canadian Caregivers

Understanding the Challenges Facing Canada’s 8 Million Caregivers 

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Canada’s family caregivers take on significant financial strain, along with other challenges associated with caregiving. 

Canada is home to over eight million unpaid family caregivers who face disproportionate monthly costs compared to non-caregivers. Caring for a loved one can come with financial strain — whether it’s the need to pay for customized supplies, modifications to the home, respite care, or the fact that caregivers must adjust their regular work hours to provide care.


Launched in 2020, the Petro-Canada CareMakers FoundationTM is a registered Canadian charity that creates awareness about family caregiving and inspires Canadians to help by raising funds to enable charitable organizations nationwide to provide critical programs and resources for family caregivers. According to a recent survey from the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation, developed in partnership with Leger, 60 per cent of unpaid family caregivers spend up to $500 monthly on care-related costs, while 17 per cent spend $500 or more. This significant cost burden is in addition to the mental and emotional toll of caregiving, along with the strain it can put on personal relationships and career growth.

“Many caregivers are feeling the financial strain that comes with caring for a loved one, which can be even more pronounced when budgets are tight,” says Leila Fenc, Executive Director, Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation. “While caring for a family member can be a beautiful experience, today’s unpaid family caregivers are absolutely feeling the weight that can come with this work.”

Supporting caregivers

All in, 47 per cent of unpaid caregivers spend more on care-related costs than other typical monthly bills, including personal care, phone and internet bills, monthly groceries, utility bills, car payments, and monthly childcare costs. Unsurprisingly, 52 per cent report difficulty managing these costs — which is likely to be exacerbated in today’s challenging economic environment.

Eighty per cent of Canadians believe there should be more resources and support for unpaid caregivers, and unpaid caregiving is a role that half of all Canadians are likely to undertake at some point. That’s why the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation is proud to raise awareness about the topic and to provide grants — over $7 million to date — to organizations that support family caregivers. 

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