Capacity to Care
Capacity to Care is a community initiative designed to build the capacity of family, friend and community caregivers. As few as 19% of the 500,000 Minnesotans providing care to a loved one identify as a caregiver. The initiative’s initial goal is to raise awareness and increase caregiver self-identification.
By raising awareness of the important role that caregivers play, Capacity to Care seeks to increase the number of current caregivers who seek support, the number of community and family members who offer to help those providing care, and the number of future caregivers who begin preparing for their role as a caregiver before crisis strikes.
The Capacity to Care initiative includes:
- Comprehensive public awareness campaign–www.whatisacaregiver.org–designed to increase caregiver identification
- Caregiving in Context research study, designed to promote a better understanding of the informal networks of support that surround caregivers
- Pilot projects designed to strengthen existing informal networks of support for caregivers or connect caregivers to new networks of support
Family and friend caregivers form the backbone of our community's long-term care system. In Minnesota, 92% of long-term care is provided by family and friend caregivers, and every one percent decline in family caregiving costs the state $30 million dollars annually.
The challenges facing caregivers combined with the impending "age wave" of older adults who will need support demands that we create new, cost-effective solutions that successfully engage and support caregivers before they are in in crisis.
Wilder's goal is to improve the system of support for caregivers by achieving the following objectives:
About the Caregiver Awareness Campaign
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association, the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, and the Metropolitan Caregiver Service Collaborative worked together to create a campaign to raise awareness about identifying as a caregiver. A recent study showed that only 19 percent of people actively caring for a friend, family member, or neighbor self-identified as a caregiver. Without recognizing this role, caregivers do not seek resources that could help them better take care of their loved ones and themselves.
The campaign – What is a Caregiver – uses outdoor signage to remind people that even common tasks like mowing a neighbor's lawn or taking a spouse to an appointment is considered caregiving. The website www.whatisacaregiver.org
was created to direct caregivers toward community resources that are available to them. The goal of the campaign is to raise caregiver self-awareness and increase access to caregiver supports. Read more about the caregiver awareness campaign in our newsroom