As Canada observes National Caregiver Day (April 2), it’s a special occasion for recognizing and honouring those who provide unpaid care to those in need.

Unpaid care work is the backbone of the health-care system. Carers of all ages — youth, seniors and those in the prime of their careers — contribute to the overall health of the country, its labour markets and economic development.

In 2018, one in four Canadians between the ages of 19 and 70 — most of whom work full-time hours — balanced paid employment with caregiving responsibilities. One job was to pay the bills, while the other involved caring for a loved one who was sick, disabled or dying.

These individuals are known as carer-employees. They often experience a range of negative health impacts, including life satisfaction, general health and mental health.

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