Sometimes, people close to us need help because of age, illness or a disability. When this happens, we become caregivers.
Stepping into this role raises a lot of questions. Can we take time off work to care for someone? Do we have a role when it comes to health care decisions? Can we act on behalf of the other person? The law has tools to help caregivers understand their roles, make decisions and accompany others.
Éducaloi has put together the following toolkit of key legal information for caregivers:
- Balancing Work and Caregiving – Can I take time off work for caregiving? If so, how much? What if my employer objects? What if my employer wants to let me go?
- Health Care Decisions – The general rule is that people have the right to make their own health care decisions. Doctors must give certain information so patients can make these decisions. But what about people who can’t make decisions? And can treatment ever be imposed? How is confidential medical information protected? What’s in a medical record? And who can see a patient’s medical record? Watch these Videos: Consent to Treatment Video and Access to Medical Records.
- Navigating the Health and Social Services Network – Caregivers face a network that can be hard to navigate: the health and social services system. These articles can point you in the right direction: The Public Health Insurance Plan, The Public Drug Insurance Plan, Filing a Complaint About Health or Social Services and Health and Social Services in English
- Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind – There a many legal tools to plan for the unexpected. And others that let caregivers made decisions on behalf of someone else. Here are a few: Accident, Illness and Disability Insurance, Powers of Attorney, Protection Mandates, Living Wills, Ten Steps to Estate Planning, Wills and Advance Medical Directives
- Legal Protections for Vulnerable People – What happens when people can’t care for themselves or their affairs? If they don’t have a legal document for this kind of situation (a protection mandate), the law has several solutions: Incapacity, Protective Supervision for Vulnerable People, Incapacity and the Public Curator (video), Seniors and Protection from Exploitation and Abuse. For more information about issues of concern to seniors, Éducaloi’s also offers a special seniors guide.
- Housing Issues – Sometimes, people have to move for health reasons. People leaving rental housing can end their leases in some cases, and the law has protections if there are problems: A Tenant’s Right to End a Lease, Housing Issues for Seniors, The Régie du logement (rental board) and Tenant’s and Landlords: A Guide to Rental Housing