At a time of economic instability, rapidly rising health care costs, an aging population, and increased incidents of long-term chronic care needs, the importance and demands on family caregivers are greater than ever. Around the globe, carers are the invisible back bone of our health and social care systems, often sacrificing their own physical, financial and psychosocial well-being in order to provide care to loved ones. Caregivers have their own limits and needs; and in the absence of adequate support, caregivers will be stretched to a breaking point.
Once seen as a personal and private matter in family life, unpaid caregiving has become one of the most important social and economic policy issues worldwide.
IACO members recognize that caregivers come from different backgrounds, different age demographics and different income levels; there is no ‘one size fits all’. Despite this diversity, our conversations with caregivers in various countries revealed a similarity in their needs, so much as that three universal priorities were identified by the members of IACO:
Recognition of the vital role of carers
Creation of supportive workplace environments
Safeguarding the health and well-being of carers
*The terms caregiver, family caregiver and carer are used interchangeably by IACO members.