New Public Health Report on Family Caregiving in an Aging America

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The National Alliance for Caregiving Releases From Insight to Advocacy: Addressing Family Caregiving as a National Public Health Issue

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"This report summarizes the thinking from our 2017 National Conference of Caregiver Advocates," noted Michael Wittke, Director of Advocacy at the Alliance. "Research has shown an economic and health impact of caregiving on our society-at-large, and we should treat caregiving as a societal issue."

The National Alliance for Caregiving, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and advocacy on behalf of family caregivers, has released an advocacy report, From Insight to Advocacy: Addressing Family Caregiving as a National Public Health Issue. The report identifies actions that can be taken to understand and address the impact of family caregiving on the public's health.

The report, available at caregiving.org/publichealth, comes in advance of the upcoming 12th Annual National Conference of Caregiver Advocates in March 2018, which will focus on engaging family caregivers across the lifespan.

The report describes family caregiving and the major caregiving issues affecting public health, including actions that can be taken specifically by state and local coalitions, health systems, and policymakers. The report also cites common data sources, identifies barriers to providing care within the aging network, and offers strategies on what caregiving advocates can do to get engaged. The report is offered as one response to a critical emerging trend: eldercare is projected to be the fastest-growing employment sector within health care. With as many as 44 million people estimated to provide care to an older adult or person with a disability, current research has noted that unpaid family caregiving impacts not just individuals, but family units, communities, states, and the nation.

Subject-matter authors contributing to the report include Jennifer Wolff, Ph.D. the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Erin D. Bouldin, Ph.D., Appalachian State University; Lisa C. McGuire, Ph.D., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Richard Schulz, Ph.D., the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Rick Greene, MSW, the National Alliance for Caregiving. The report was made possible through grant funding from Genentech.

"This report summarizes the thinking from our 2017 National Conference of Caregiver Advocates," noted Michael Wittke, Director of Advocacy at the Alliance. "Research has shown an economic and health impact of caregiving on our society-at-large, and we should treat caregiving as a societal issue."

The report will be used as a resource for the upcoming 12th Annual National Conference of Caregiver Advocates on March 26, 2018, which the Alliance will host in conjunction with the American Society on Aging in San Francisco. The one-day meeting of caregiving advocates will examine how public-private partnerships in caregiving across the lifespan can begin to address issues affecting the population as a whole.

Family caregivers, professionals, and media representatives interested in learning more about the upcoming national conference on caregiving can visit http://www.caregiving.org/coalitions/annual-conference/. To attend the conference, caregivers and professionals should register through the American Society on Aging at http://www.asaging.org/registration-information.

Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance supports a network of more than 80 state and local caregiving coalitions and serves as Secretariat for the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO). Learn more at http://www.caregiving.org.

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