IFIC Canada Virtual Community Care: Valuing Family Caregivers and their Caregiving: Family Caregivers are Vital Resources in Integrated Care

IFIC Canada Virtual Community Care: Valuing Family Caregivers and their Caregiving:  Family Caregivers are Vital Resources in Integrated Care


10:00 am - 11:30 am

Event Type

Valuing Family Caregivers and their Caregiving: Family Caregivers are Vital Resources in Integrated Care

Canada has prioritized facility-based funding—developing more long-term care beds rather than focusing on care in the community. In this National Caregiver Day webinar, we focus on the vital role of family caregivers and the supports caregivers and care-recipients need as a dyad.

Canada’s population, aged 75 and older, is expected to double over the next 20 years[1], and most Canadians want to age in place. This will increase demands for family caregivers, home care, and integrated primary and community services. We do not have 10 years to make the changes that the system needs. Next year, the first baby boomers turn 75[1]. If we persist with the status quo, the operating costs of continuing care will double by 2032. Innovative solutions are imperative in tackling this looming care crisis head-on.

Family caregivers, the largest care workforce, support the social connections, dignity, and well-being of Canadians of all ages who need care for illness, disabilities, or frailty[2-4]. Family caregivers provide 5.7 billion hours of care, equivalent to 2.8 million full-time health care providers[2-4]. In our fragmented, siloed health and social care systems, family caregivers are the de facto care coordinators responsible for finding, negotiating, and coordinating resources[5,6]. 50% of caregivers now shoulder the medical and nursing duties traditionally handled by regulated health professionals[7]. Family caregivers need support. A 2022 Statistics Canada population study reported that 44% of family caregivers are stressed and close to burnout[8].


Linda Powell
Linda Powell, a family caregiver based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is currently an Ambassador and Volunteer at STARS Foundation and very involved with organ and tissue donation and transplantation advocacy in Alberta. She brings experience from previous roles at STARS – Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society/Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service Foundation and STARS – Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society / Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service Foundation. Linda Powell holds ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors in Governance.
Dr. Donna Wilson

Dr. Donna Wilson is a Registered Nurse, who has just retired from being a Full Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. She started nursing after getting a 3-year nursing diploma from the Royal Alexandra Hospital School of Nursing in Edmonton (1976). She went on to get a Baccalaureate in Nursing degree from the University of Alberta (1981), a Master of Science in Nursing degree majoring in gerontology and healthcare management from the University of Texas at Austin (1985), and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration majoring in management, teaching, and research from the University of Alberta (1993). Donna has worked as a staff nurse, nursing supervisor, senior hospital administrator, media commentator, educator, researcher, and professor in Alberta, British Columbia, New Zealand, and Texas, as well as unpaid positions in Ireland, Belgium, and England. Donna’s program of research focuses on health services and health policy, primarily in relation to aging, ageism, and end-of-life care, including bereavement. Much of her research is oriented to myth busting.

Dr. Justine Giosa

Dr. Justine Giosa is a research scientist and health care leader with a 10-year track record of bridging the knowledge-to-practice gap in aging research and health care delivery. In her role as Managing Director, SE Research Centre, Justine oversees a diverse research portfolio and leads a team of researchers, ensuring they are supported to execute high-quality research, evaluation and knowledge mobilization work. Justine is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, where she actively collaborates on research grants with the Geriatric Health Systems Research Group and participates in both undergraduate and graduate-level teaching, training and mentorship. Justine completed her PhD in 2018 in Health Studies and Gerontology at the University of Waterloo and has held both a CIHR Doctoral Research Award and CIHR Masters Award. Her research focuses on integrated geriatric care planning and delivery across the continuum of care and authentic engagement of older adults, family/friend caregivers and health and social care providers in health system change.

Dr. Margaret Saari

Dr. Margaret Saari is an applied health services researcher working with the SE Research Centre and Professional Practice teams to help move research evidence into practice. Dr. Saari has 10+ years of experience in research to improve effective utilization of routinely-collected data to support clinical and operational decision-making, increasing engagement of clients and families in care planning as well as the design of new home and community care programs, and the integration of community services to improve the quality and experience of community care. Margaret completed her PhD at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto where she now holds Adjunct Faculty status. Margaret is also a Fellow with interRAI, an international collaborative of health and social services researchers and professionals that promotes evidence-informed clinical practice and policy decision making through the collection and interpretation of high-quality data about the characteristics and outcomes of persons served across a variety of health and social services settings. Prior to moving to a career in research, Margaret worked clinically as a registered nurse in ambulatory care settings and as a hospital-based care coordinator facilitating client transitions back to the community.

Barb MacLean

Barb MacLean, Executive Director Family Caregivers of British Columbia. Barb has over 30 years’ experience in non-profit, government and private sectors. She spent many years in the developmental disabilities field, specializing in supporting some of the most complex and challenging individuals living at home, in residential care and in school settings. Barb has a Bachelor of Arts from UBC and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Training from RRU. Barb knows first-hand what it’s like to juggle work, a young family and caregiving—she supported her family during her own mother’s fight with cancer. Barb is committed to influencing change to achieve recognition and support for family caregivers

  1. A portrait of Canada’s growing population aged 85 and older from the 2021 Census. 2022.
  2. Fast, J.; Duncan, K.A.; Keating, N.C.; Kim, C. Valuing the Contributions of Family Caregivers to the Care Economy. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 2023, doi:10.1007/s10834-023-09899-8.
  3. Fast, J. Making caregivers’ contributions, visible, valued, and sustainable. 2022.
  4. Fast, J. Value of family caregiving in Canada; University of Alberta: Edmonton, 2022; p. 2.
  5. Funk, L.M. Relieving the Burden of Navigating Health and Social Services for Older Adults and Caregivers. IRPP Study 73. Department of Health Services Research & Policy 2019.
  6. Funk, L. It shouldn’t be this hard to navigate health and social care systems. Policy Options 2019.
  7. Coupal, A. Spotlight Report: 5 Year Retrospective (2019-2023). 2023.
  8. More than half of women provide care to children and care-dependent adults in Canada, 2022. 2022, 11, 08.