Supporting employees who are care partners

Supporting employees who are care partners

One in five Canadians have experience providing care for someone with dementia. More than a quarter of Canadians over the age of 45 are providing care to a family member or close friend with a long-term illness at home.

Given these significant numbers, you might expect supporting employees who are care partners in the workforce to be a common and ongoing discussion between employers and their employees. Instead, a study of 30,000 Canadian employees found that nearly two-thirds of care partners report negative job-related consequences and another Canadian study found that care partners are more likely to leave their jobs entirely than seek workplace accommodations (Duxbury, et al., 2009; Lilly, et al., 2010).

The most important thing you can do to retain care partners in your workforce is keep an open dialogue with your employees about demands that compete with their work commitments. Some employees may benefit from flexible work hours to attend appointments, others may benefit from a leave of absence to provide intensive and dedicated care for a period of time, and others still may benefit from a quiet lunch hour to themselves, participating in social activities in the workplace, or accessing available employment benefits and community supports to manage their own health and wellbeing.

Guidance and support for care partners

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories offers information, education sessions, support groups, and more for dementia care partners. You can read about the information topics and available programs and services under Help and Support at or call 1-866-950-5465.