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Toronto, Apr 3 (Canadian-Media): For the first time in Canada, the Prime Minister Justin Trueau had released a statement in 2017 to observe the diversity, role and value of caregivers on April 4, National Family Caregiver Day, media reports said.
Today during the observance of Family Caregiver Day (FCD), proclaimed by Toronto City Council in January 2017, Toronto residents were reportedly encouraged to recognize the contribution of caregivers and appreciation for their efforts on social media using the hashtag #Careitforward.
FCD was observed today at Toronto City Hall by Toronto Mayor John Tory, Councillor Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the City's Community Development and Recreation Committee, and Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22 St. Paul's), Toronto's Seniors Advocate, and recognized the important roles caregivers play in caring for family and friends in need of support.
The event was also joined by ENRICHES Collaborative, Family Caregiver Voice and over twelve other partner organizations.
"Family caregivers represent almost 30 per cent of Toronto’s population, providing unpaid care to family members and friends who need help due to a health condition, a disability or challenges related to aging," said Tory. "Caregiving is rewarding but it can also be emotionally, physically and financially stressful. This event allows us to give these everyday heroes some of the recognition that they deserve."
John Tory. Image credit: Facebook page
FCD event was reportedly kicked off by Carole Ann Alloway, author and co-founder of Family Caregivers Voice and a moving accounts of what it's like to provide support for their loved ones was given by two caregivers.
"This event is a wonderful opportunity for Toronto to come together in support of this often invisible and vulnerable group of individuals that is such a crucial component to the wellbeing of our Toronto community," said Dr. Joel Sadavoy, Chair of the ENRICHES Collaborative Steering Committee and Director of the Reitman Centre for Alzheimer's Support and Training at Sinai Health System.
Attendees had an opportunity to participate in a mentoring session with experts in the caregiver profession, visit the interactive technology booth, and hear from a panel of speakers about caregiving supports.
The event was live-streamed to allow caregivers in different locations to participate and participants had a chance to view magic and comedy by Broadway star Mark Correia.
"Many of us will be informal caregivers for family members, friends or neighbours at some point in our lives," said Councillor Matlow. "This event is a wonderful opportunity for caregivers to learn more about programs and services available in the community as well as to be a source of support for one another."
In honour of the day, the Vanier Institute of the Family -- a national, independent, charitable organization dedicated to understanding the diversity and complexity of family life in Canada -- is holding the North American Private Premiere of our film the Caregivers' Club in Ottawa, Ontario.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)