The role of caregiver can be an enriching experience of engagement with others, but it also entails risks of mistreatment.

Here are some ways to promote proper treatment, and some resources to help you see the path ahead more clearly.

The subjects:

Be aware that being a caregiver involves the risk of being mistreated!

Some examples of mistreatment:

By those close to me (family, friends):

  • Opting out of caring for the person requiring care
  • Ignoring mistreatment towards me by the person for whom I am caring
  • Using abusive, intimidating language
  • Leaving me to pay care costs
  • Telling me how I should do things, etc.

By institutions (healthcare system, organizations):

  • Passing judgment on my emotions or the way I do things for the person requiring care
  • Belittling my abilities in the presence of the person requiring care
  • Making the role of caregiver mandatory
  • Not providing me with the necessary information to accomplish my role as caregiver
  • Leaving me to cope with the healthcare system on my own, etc.

By the person whom I am taking care of:

  • Refusing care or services that would make my task easier
  • Using abusive, intimidating language towards me
  • Hitting, acting abruptly, etc.


  • Feeling burnt out from my role as a caregiver
  • I’m too hard on myself
  • I feel guilty, incompetent or I feel I’m not doing enough
  • I put my own needs aside to prioritize those of the person requiring care, etc.

Ways to encourage good treatment towards me

  • I identify myself as a caregiver
  • It makes me proud
  • I recognize my needs and my limitations
  • I take care of my health
  • I will accept help
  • I make positive statements about my actions

Good treatment of caregivers is a comprehensive support process. Its aim is to promote their support, listen to their needs, and value their contribution, their experiences and their expertise in daily life in order to prevent mistreatment.

For a better understanding

Some common definitions:


Caregiver means any person who provides support to one or more members of their entourage who have a temporary or permanent disability of a physical, psychological, psychosocial or other nature, regardless of their age or living environment, and with whom the person shares an emotional bond as a family member or otherwise


The support provided is continuous or occasional, short or long term, and is offered on a non-professional basis, in a free, informed and
revocable manner
, with the particular aim of promoting the recovery of the person assisted and the maintenance and improvement of their quality of life at home or in other living environments. The support may take various forms, such as transportation, assistance with personal care and housekeeping, emotional support, or the
organization of care and services. The support provided may also have financial repercussions for the caregiver or limit their ability to take care of their own physical and mental health or to assume their other social and family responsibilities. 


(Government of Quebec, 2020).


A caregiver may be mistreated in an institution, by someone in their inner circle or by the person they care for


It may manifest itself by voicing opinions on a caregiver’s decisions and ways of doing things, by contesting their expertise, by imposing a role on them, by the absence of support or other help, etc.

(Éthier S. et al. 2019).

I too have the right to ask for help.


AAA Line (Aide Abus Aînés)
1 888 489-2287

Caregiver Support Line
1 855 852-7784

L’APPUI Web Site

Info-social Line

To find your local organization: Regroupement des aidants naturels du Québec (RANQ)