We hope you have enjoyed the ACL Updates, blog posts, and other information we have shared throughout National Family Caregivers Month. As we close the 2023 celebration, we’re recapping a few important highlights in case you missed the opportunity to read, watch, or share with your networks.
"Supporting Family Caregivers: A Key Issue for ACL and for Our Time"
In an ACL blog post, Alison Barkoff recognized the nation’s 53 million family caregivers and the support they provide to older adults and disabled people of all ages throughout the year. Describing the need for better family caregiver support as a key issue of our time, she outlined some of the efforts underway here at ACL, across the federal government, and in the private sector — including work to implement the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. She called upon each of us to join in creating a comprehensive system of support for family caregivers.
…I am calling on everyone to join us. I am excited and optimistic about what we can achieve together — and our work will only become more important as populations age, people with disabilities are living longer, and more people than ever want to live in the community and age in place. Building the care infrastructure — both supporting family caregivers and strengthening the direct care workforce — is THE issue of our time for the disability and aging communities and for advancing community living.
President Biden’s Proclamation on National Family Caregivers Month
In his Proclamation on National Family Caregivers Month 2023, President Biden encouraged all Americans to celebrate and honor family caregivers — “the backbone of our country” — for the support they provide. He said:
How we treat our children, parents, and loved ones and how we value those who care for them are fundamental to who we are as a Nation. Early care and education give young children a strong start in life while long-term care helps older Americans, veterans, and people with disabilities live and work with dignity. During National Family Caregivers Month, we honor the Americans who lift up our communities and our Nation by providing dignified, professional, and invaluable care to the people we cherish the most.
“This fight is personal, and it’s real.”
In a video presentation shared at Caring Across Generations “CareFest” earlier this month, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra describes his personal journey as a caregiver to his father and how actions across federal government, including President Biden’s Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers and work underway at ACL and other HHS divisions, are uplifting family caregivers and providing the respect, appreciation, and support they deserve.
Family Caregiving in the News
The articles and video below include ACL interviews, discuss our work to advance supports for the nation’s family caregivers, or provide important insights into the challenges faced by the caregiving infrastructure.
- Caregiver Nation: A Pivotal Moment for Family Caregiving in the U.S., a blog by Jason Resendez, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving.
- Family Caregivers: The Invisible Army Is Gaining Notice, an article by AARP’s Nancy A. LeaMond.
- Dying Broke, a new jointly reported series on America’s long-term care crisis from KFF Health News and the New York Times.
- ‘Hidden Population’: Aging Canada Needs Caregivers Who Need Support, from Canadian Affairs, mentions the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers.
- November is National Family Caregivers Month: Who Is Caring for the Caregivers? features ACL grantees discussing the importance of caregiver support.
- In an online interview with Frontlines TV, Alison Barkoff describes how ACL is working to ensure the needs of disabled people, older adults, and family caregivers are reflected in federal policy.
Remembering Rosalynn Carter
Finally, we cannot close out November without remembering former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died on November 19 at her home in Plains, Georgia. With the passing of Mrs. Carter, the nation lost a true champion to caregivers everywhere. In 1987, Mrs. Carter founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers to support the unique needs of those who care for family and friends and build on her belief that everyone is a caregiver now, has been a caregiver, or will either be or need a caregiver in the future.
To learn more about Rosalynn Carter’s legacy and how she devoted her life to building what she described as a “more caring society,” read this tribute biography recently posted by the Carter Center.