Award launched to provide respite to unpaid caregivers on National Caregiver Day


Unpaid Caregivers are playing a huge role in fighting COVID-19

Toronto, April 7th, 2020—Unpaid caregivers are the unsung and unseen heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to keep their loved ones out of the stressed hospital system, and at home where most want and need to be.

This National Caregiver Day, VHA Home HealthCare has partnered with The Caregivers’ Club to award two Toronto-based unpaid caregivers who are caring for those with dementia with 50 hours of free respite care. This will allow dementia caregivers to do something for themselves such as talking a walk, getting some rest, or practicing other forms of self-care. Submissions for the Family Relief Fund Award are open until April 30th and winners will be confirmed later this Spring. To apply, please visit:

National Caregiver Day falls annually on the first Tuesday in April and is intended to honour this group of incredibly dedicated and hard-working individuals.

 Respite care refers to “relief caring,” according to the Ontario Ministry of Health, and can include personal support, rehabilitation or homemaking, depending on the needs of the caregiver.

“We want to care for the carers who do so much and now more than ever, we want to show them our support,” says Cynthia Banks, Director of The Caregivers’ Club. “These hours of respite can make or break a caregivers’ journey.”

The Caregivers’ Club Family Relief Fund was launched with the mandate of supporting unpaid caregivers in physically and financially challenging situations. To learn more about The Caregivers’ Club film and how to watch the documentary, please visit

Over 8 million, or one in four people across the country, provide unpaid care to support someone in their lives who is experiencing mobility or cognitive challenges, or suffering with a chronic disease, according to Statistics Canada.

“Unpaid caregivers are the backbone of our health care system and are often unrecognized and unacknowledged. Especially at this time when all aspects of our health care system are under such strain, we are relying on unpaid caregivers more than ever. This award is a small way we can show our appreciation for all they do,” says Carol Annett, President and CEO of VHA Home HealthCare.



About VHA Home HealthCare:

VHA Home HealthCare—a not-for-profit charitable organization—has inspired Ontarians to create possibilities for more independence for almost a century. VHA’s team of over 2,800 caring, compassionate health care professionals support clients and their families with nursing, personal support and rehabilitation services. VHA is proudly Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada, is an RNAO Best Practice Spotlight Organization and a United Way Greater Toronto Anchor Agency.

 Media availability can be arranged upon request. For further information, please contact:


Tracey Turriff                                                                              Isabel Terrell

Senior Communications & PR Manager                                Communications Specialist

Cell: 416.565.8483; Email:                            Cell: 416.577.8062; Email:

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