Start Seeing Caregivers
By: Beth Wiggins, Director of Caregiving and Aging Services at FamilyMeans
Caregiving provided by relatives and friends is the very heart of eldercare. When older adults need assistance with essential everyday life tasks, these caregivers are the predominant providers. Caregivers are the primary source of social and emotional support, and are deeply engaged in their care receivers’ medical care. Caregivers are also often part of the paid workforce and have additional family and community obligations. The prevalence and complexity of caregiving has significant implications for our workplaces, healthcare systems, and communities, and yet caregivers remain under-recognized. By seeing caregivers, we will be compelled to take action to preserve and sustain their contributions to the well-being of an aging society.
- Understand the scope and demographic realities of caregiving.
- Examine the implications of caregiving on the workplace, the healthcare system, and the community.
- Identify actions you can take to elevate caregiving priorities in public discourse and policy-making.
Beth Wiggins, Director of Caregiving and Aging Services at FamilyMeans
Beth joined FamilyMeans in 2013, and has more than 28 years of experience in developing and administering community-based supportive services for older adults and their families. With a broad understanding of gerontology, family caregiving, community involvement issues and nonprofit management, she has provided leadership in a number of collaborative entities and multi-sector partnerships to champion aging as a positive and integral part of family and community life. She currently serves as Chair of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging. Beth holds a BA in Psychology from Carleton College, a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and was a Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center Fellow. She is also a caregiver.
Related Research links:
From Insight to Advocacy: Addressing Family Caregiving as a National Public Health Issue, National Alliance for Caregiving, 2018 http://www.caregiving.org/publichealth/
Families Caring for an Aging America, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016 http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2016/families-caring-for-an-aging-america.aspx