International Alliance of Carer Organizations Annual Meeting Identifies Top Priorities for Carers Across the Globe

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Eight Countries Agree to Focus on Carers’ Health and Wellbeing

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The second annual meeting of the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO), currently the only global carer coalition, concluded on 4 June 2014. IACO is the first and only international coalition dedicated specifically to providing resources and advocacy for family carers at an international level.

Carers are family members, partners and friends who provide assistance with everyday tasks to persons with disabilities to enable them to remain in their community. This unpaid assistance, such as tube feedings, toileting and wound care, can be very complicated and time intensive.

The meeting included carer organizations from Sweden, Ireland, Finland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States and Eurocarers.

IACO was formed in 2012 to offer carers a voice through an international platform while discussing and campaigning ways to raise awareness of carer issues with international bodies, such as the United Nations and World Health Organization. The group is supported by Associate Members Right at Home International, BUPA of Australia and Novartis.

Representatives from each country met to share best practices on providing carers with a voice, focusing on working carers who juggle family and work responsibilities.

“Governments are facing economic pressures that make it difficult to continue funding social welfare programs for carers,” said Gail Gibson Hunt, Secretariat for IACO and President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving. “Employers can be a great partner in caring by providing supplemental resources and information that address the burden of supporting an aging or disabled loved one.”

IACO additionally provides assistance and encourages countries interested in developing family carer organizations to join their initiative. The vision is to create a strong network of carer organizations across the nations as a support system while bringing additional visibility to their cause.

“IACO facilitates information sharing among countries while creating a cohesive direction to advocate for family caregiving internationally,” said Blake Martin, Vice President of International Operations for Right at Home. “With our current presence in eight countries and expansion plans throughout the world, it is pertinent that we work together to understand the intricacies and needs of different countries’ family carers. By doing so, we will be able to develop strategies to provide the best care for the elderly and disabled while paying close attention to the needs of those family members providing the care, as well.”

About IACO
The International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) is an international organization founded in 2012 by caregiving organizations from seven countries that provides cohesive direction, facilitates information sharing, and actively advocates for family caregiving at an international level. IACO members include both non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations that demonstrate an understanding of family carers, a willingness to collaborate and communicate, and a commitment to the IACO vision of establishing a global understanding and recognition of the integral role of carers to care recipients, health and social care systems, and society. For more information on IACO, please visit

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