Honouring our caregivers

Join the celebrations in the Hydro building April 2, and learn about the services available to individuals giving care and love to the sick and infirm.

We're learning to appreciate the dedication caregivers bring to the task of assisting and offering cheer to the house-bound.
We’re learning to appreciate the dedication caregivers bring to the task of assisting and offering cheer to the house-bound.
Hon. Jim Rondeau Minister's Message
Hon. Jim Rondeau
Minister’s Message

Last year Manitoba was proud to celebrate the first Caregiver Recognition Day held in Canada. This special day focused on increasing awareness about the contributions that caregivers make on a daily basis. I would like to applaud all caregivers for their continued good work. I would also like to encourage all Manitobans to become more aware of the caregivers in their communities and to recognize them for their invaluable contributions.

I am pleased to advise that we will be celebrating the second Caregiver Recognition Day on Tuesday April 2. It will be in Winnipeg at the ground-level lobby of the Manitoba Hydro Building, 360 Portage Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Caregiver organizations from across the province will be at the event to answer questions and provide caregivers with valuable information about the many services and supports available in Manitoba. I invite you to come out for the event, even if you can only stay for a short time, or to share information about this event with other caregivers.

Coalition a key resource

The province is collaborating with the Manitoba Caregiver Coalition and Caregiver Advisory Committee for the planning of this event. We thank the coalition for both the expertise they bring in planning for Caregiver Recognition Day and the important perspective they bring to various caregiver issues.

The theme this year for Caregiver Recognition Day is “Becoming Care Aware”. Any person, organization or community can become more care aware by taking steps to recognize and appreciate caregivers. A caregiver is anyone who provides informal and unpaid care, support or assistance to another person because that person lives with challenges due to a disability, illness, injury or aging. A caregiver may be a loved one, family member or friend. Caregivers provide support that allows a person to remain in their community for as long as possible. They often continue providing support when the person moves into a hospital, personal care home or hospice.

I encourage every Manitoban to become more care aware. For example, if you know someone who is providing care, think of a way that you can offer help to that person. Can you cook a meal for them, visit with the care recipient so the caregiver has some free time, or run an errand? We all have unique talents that we can share and ways of giving back to others. Don’t be afraid to try something new or, if you can’t think of an idea, just ask.

The province is certainly taking steps to become more care aware. In June, 2011, we passed The Caregiver Recognition Act, to:

• acknowledge the valuable contributions of unpaid caregivers of all ages;
• increase recognition and awareness of caregivers; and
• help guide the development of a framework for caregiver recognition and support.
Since then we have:
• completed a number of consultations with caregivers and service providers on the needs of caregivers throughout Manitoba;
• established the caregiver advisory committee, who provide me with regular advice on important caregiver issues; and
• produced a new caregiver guide that provides information and resources for caregivers of older adults.

As always, I want to ensure you are aware of all the resources available to you. If you are an informal caregiver, you may be eligible for the primary caregiver tax credit. This tax credit recognizes the significant contribution of people who help enhance the independence and quality of life of family members and friends by helping with tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating meals, transportation, mobility and accessing medical care.

Up to $1,275 per client

The caregiver can claim up to $1,275 per year, per client, for up to three clients. The primary caregiver tax credit is available to caregivers of all income levels. For more information on this, or on any other provincial tax credit, please contact the Manitoba tax assistance office at 809-386 Broadway, Winnipeg MB, R3C 3R6; phone 204-948-2115; toll free 1-800-782-0771; email TAO@gov.mb.ca.

If you are caring for an older adult and would like more information or a copy of A Guide for the Caregiver: Information and Resources for Caregiver of Older Adults, or if you have any comments or questions, please contact the Seniors Information Line, call 204-945-6565 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-800-665-6565.

I hope to see you on April 2.

Hon. Jim Rondeau is Minister of Healthy Living,
Seniors and Consumer Affairs.

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