TSF launches new campaign to support 10 million millennial caregivers
One in three U.S. Millennials care for older loved ones; Online community will help manage stress and offer support
The SCAN Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to aging with dignity and independence, is launching a new consumer campaign called Do YOU give a care? to provide a community for the 10 million Millennials who provide daily care to family and friends.
According to just-released polling data from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, funded by The SCAN Foundation, 80 percent of the Millennial caregivers surveyed said they were moderately to extremely stressed—higher rates than Generation X caregivers—even with Millennials providing fewer hours of support to family and friends than older generations.
“Many hear the word Millennial and think of someone with a ‘me-first’ mentality, but that’s not the case for one in three Millennials who provide care to loved ones,” said Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “Millennial caregivers could not be more different from that stereotype. They are selfless—forgoing school and career goals, relationships and social connections to take care of family and friends in unprecedented numbers. They need our support, not our stereotypes. That’s why Do YOU give a care? is so important.”
Do YOU give a care? raises awareness about the prevalence of Millennial caregiving through an online community, videos, graphics, and social channels for caregivers and allies to share their stories along with supportive resources to help caregivers take care of themselves. The new community lets Millennials learn about the issues at their own pace and share their experiences with others so they don’t feel so alone.
The effort will explore some common effects of caregiving like stress and feelings of guilt, and also some of the lesser-known consequences more particular to Millennial caregiving, like lack of understanding from peers and the burden of delaying goals during caregiving while friends go about their lives—e.g., college, career goals, marriage, etc. The SCAN Foundation’s new community will offer Millennials a platform to share their experiences during an often stressful and isolating experience.
Experts note that caregiving can be overwhelming, especially for Millennials, so building awareness and community is of the utmost importance to provide the supports individuals and families need.
More than half of all older adults will need care at some point in their lives and one-third of 18- to 39-year-olds, or 10 million individuals, are already providing this daily care.
Another third of this age cohort is expected to provide such care within the next five years. The likelihood of Millennials having experienced caregiving is the same as those who are 40 and older, yet few feel prepared.
“When I learned there are so many other Millennial caregivers, I was shocked because when I first started taking care of my dad, I felt like I had no one to relate to,” said 27-year-old Lisette Carbajal of Richmond, Va.
“I give a care for my dad every chance I get by sharing his story and our experience as a family.”
To learn more, visit YouGiveACare.org or #YouGiveACare on social media channels.
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