encompasses so many facets of life for people with
disabilities, their friends and family, colleagues
It's all about Inclusion and Independence.
ubiquitous - it will happen to almost everyone
Excerpt from Speech by the Right Honourable, The
Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, UK House of Lords
Millions of people around the world provide care
and assistance to family members, friends and
neighbours who are in need of support due to
physical, cognitive or mental health conditions.
There is an urgent need for greater recognition and
heightened awareness of the diversity of the
caregiving experience, understanding of the
challenges associated with family/friend caregiving
and identification of strategies to bring about
In this election, we passionately believe that it
is vital to have the newly elected government
(after October 10) to announce the intention to
build an Ontario Caregiver Strategy that would more
fully recognize the role and contributions of
caregivers in society, and invite key stakeholders
to the policy table to begin formulating a
comprehensive Ontario Caregiver Strategy.
Many positive strides have been made over the
years, by a succession of governments at Queen's
Park. For example, the recently announced Strategy
on Aging certainly helps advance the recognition
and funding for caregivers, by expanding home and
community care. The compassionate employment
insurance benefits, both nationally and
provincially, represent another good step.
We need to build and expand upon these measures,
enhancing caregiver recognition in government
policy and legislation.
Ontarians with disabilities and their caregivers
require comprehensive support from the publicly
The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and the
United States have implemented caregiver
recognition polices and laws that far surpass what
we have (or don't) in Ontario.
Caregiving in the home can often require costly
modifications to allow the individual to live in
their community, with dignity and independence.
and Vehicle Modifications (HVMP)
What exactly is a home or vehicle modification
through HVMP? Simply put, this is funding
assistance to individuals to achieve easier and
greater access to and within their home and
This might mean the installation of a ramp, a
wheelchair lift or grab bars in a washroom.
Modifying one's home or vehicle allows that person
to stay in their homes and in their community -
which greatly contributes to improving one's
quality of life
Home and vehicle modifications also help give back
some of the independence to that individual with a
Quite often, the alternative would see people going
into more costly long-term care facilities.
But the funding needs to be there.
Just last year alone, roughly 49% of those who
applied to funding to modify their homes or
vehicles had to be turned away. There simply wasn't
sufficient funding to meet the demand.
...and what about those individuals with
disabilities who require extra supports in their
Housing with Attendant Care
There needs to be funding for supportive and
non-profit housing. In fact, there is a desperate
need for the provincial government to take the lead
to bring the three levels of government to the
table to develop more pro-active and effective
approaches to meeting the basic shelter and living
needs of people with disabilities.
It's one thing to commit to increased affordable
housing. But for many people with disabilities,
there needs to be "supportive" housing - with
accompanying funding for attendant care