Chronic Disease

Caregivers

Healthcare systems have always depended on informal caregivers. Hardworking and usually unpaid, caregivers devote tremendous amounts of time and energy to their loved ones. Juggling between personal and professional responsibilities, they often struggle to balance their different roles and end up paying a high professional, financial, and personal price for their efforts. Yet without their contributions, healthcare systems would face a shortage in the care workforce. The family care “workforce” is anywhere from double the size (such as in Denmark) to ten times the size (Canada, the Netherlands) of the formal-care workforce. Building innovative programmes and initiatives to support these caregivers will be crucial to the stability of European healthcare systems, the economy, and well-being for citizens.
Source: Help Wanted? Providing and Paying for Long-Term Care, OECD 2011, Chapter 1, P.44.

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