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Caring for Caregivers: Bridging the Care Gap

Informal and mostly unpaid caregivers – spouses, family, friends and neighbors – play a crucial role in maintaining the health, well-being, functional independence and quality of life of growing numbers of persons of all ages who cannot manage on their own. In doing so, informal caregivers also moderate demand on already stretched formal health care systems and contribute to their sustainability. Yet, informal caregiving may be in decline. Caregivers are reporting rising levels of burden and stress. Engagement in caregiving is falling; and, the caregiver pool is shrinking.

How should policymakers and healthcare leaders respond?

This symposium – including morning refreshments and a networking lunch – features leading academic and policy experts. It tackles key assumptions around caregiving including the assumption that caregivers are going to be willing and able to step up as more individuals require care and as more care shifts from hospital and institutional settings to home and community where caregivers play the lead role.

The symposium will explore:

  • the practice and promise of different approaches for supporting caregivers;
  • self-directed care, where individual caregivers manage their own budgets;
  • supported self-managed care, where caregivers work in partnership with health care professionals to co-create individualized support packages and develop sustainable care networks;
  • best practices that look beyond supports for individual caregivers to the creation of intergenerational supportive communities.

The symposium is presented by the Canadian Research Network for Care in the Community ( in partnership with the Health System Performance Research Network ( and the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (, University of Toronto with support from the Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University (

For valuable background on informal caregivers and caregiver supports, see a recent volume of Longwoods HealthcarePapers including a lead article and commentaries by CRNCC members and partners (



Event Details

Date & Time
Thursday, April 14th, 2016
Morning Symposium (with Networking Lunch): 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
(Breakfast and Registration starts at 8:00 AM)


Atrium, George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, Ryerson University, 245 Church Street, Toronto (Ontario) [Map]

$80 (students $40) including light morning refreshments & a networking lunch

Event Agenda
Please click here for the event agenda and speakers' bio.

Online registration is now closed. There will be no registration at the door.



Event Presentations

Kickoff Speaker

  • A. Paul Williams, PhD, Professor, Health Policy, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Co-Chair, CRNCC [presentation]

Discussion Panel I Speakers

  • Lisa Levin, BA, MSc, Chair, Ontario Caregiver Coalition [presentation]
  • Krista Keilty, NP-Paeds, PhD, Nurse Practitioner-Paediatrics, SickKids Hospital [presentation]
  • Janice Keefe, BA, MA, PhD. Professor and Lena Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology, Department of Family Studies and Gerontology & Director, Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University [presentation]

Discussion Panel II Speakers

  • Samir Sinha, MD, DPhil, FRCPC, Director of Geriatrics, Sinai Health System and the University Health Network Hospitals and Architect of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy [presentation]
  • Anna Greenberg, BA, MPP, Vice-President, Health System Performance, Health Quality Ontario [presentation]
  • Adalsteinn Brown, AB, D. Phil, Director, Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Dalla Lana Chair in Public Health Policy, University of Toronto



The CRNCC is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Ryerson University
The HSPRN is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC)