FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2019

Wisconsin Celebrates Family Caregivers During November Awareness Month 

Madison, WI  - Wisconsin’s caregiving crisis continues with no end in sight while resilient family caregivers shoulder an estimated 80 percent of all care in the state, according to the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance.

 

The Alliance is asking Wisconsinites to recognize the family caregivers in their lives during November Family Caregiver Month, and yearlong. You can read the Governor’s Proclamation honoring the role of family caregivers here.

 

“Unpaid caregivers are helping their spouses, parents, siblings, children, neighbors and friends daily in our communities, doing everything from bringing meals and providing rides to giving medications and helping with dressing and bathing,” says Lisa Schneider, WFACSA member and director of the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin. “Our recent family caregiver survey tells a complicated story of caregivers who are under extraordinary stress, but also do their work out of love.”

 

2019 WFACSA Survey results summary (612 respondents):

 

 Caregiving difficulties:

  • 73% of caregivers are not meeting their own personal needs
  • 63% are not adequately balancing caregiving and work
  • 60% are not meeting the needs of their other children and family members

 

Personal impacts:

  • 72% of caregivers are tired/worn out a lot of the time
  • 64% report that their social life has suffered
  • 90% indicate their emotional and/or physical health has worsened
  • 53% report that relationships with friends and/or family have suffered

 

Family caregivers also shared personal stories through the survey, including:

 

“As hard as it got at times due to loss of sleep and worrying consonantly if my mom would try to leave during the night and I not hear her, I never regretted giving up our home, my family moving in hers, and taking care of her so she could live her life till the end the way SHE wanted to. No regrets here.”

 

“Caregiving is very isolating. My daughter is absolutely worth it, but the hoops to jump through to get her care or to put respite in place are exhausting.”

“It is very stressful, both on myself and my immediate family.”

 

“It is the most rewarding and difficult job I've ever had.”

“A great way to honor a caregiver this month is to just say Thank You,” says Jane Mahoney, WFACSA member and Caregiver Support Specialist with the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. “Often caregivers go unrecognized or don’t ask for help because they don’t even feel as if they are a caregiver. Understanding what additional stressors being a caregiver puts on a person is the first step to ensuring they get the supports they may need.”

 

The mission of the  Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance is to raise awareness of family and caregiver support needs and increase the availability of, and access to, services and supports - both paid and unpaid - which will keep people across the lifespan engaged in their community as long as they desire.

 

Read the complete WFACSA Family Caregivers survey results here. http://wisconsincaregiver.org/alliance

For information about work being done by the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving, visit https://gtfc.wisconsin.gov .

To find resources to support families and provide care for a loved one, visit http://wisconsincaregiver.org/alliance.

  


Wisconsin Family & Caregiver Support Alliance holds 3rd annual Caregiver Summit

Last Thursday, September 5, 50 family caregiver advocates and experts from across the state gathered in Madison to discuss the needs of families and caregivers.  The group heard the results of the statewide caregiver survey, learned about the Governor's Task Force on Caregiving, and listened to a panel of employers who have prioritized supporting their employees who are also caregivers.   The event provided attendees a chance to give ideas about how to increase support for families and caregivers in Wisconsin which will be shared with the Task Force at their first meeting in September. The following materials presented at the Summit.

 

 

 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2019

Family Caregivers Celebrate Creation of WI Task Force on Caregiving Issues

 

Members of the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance (WFACSA) celebrate the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving through Executive Order #11 issued on February 19, 2019. The full Executive Order can be found here:  Governor's Task Force on Caregiving Executive Order.  Read the WFACSA press release about the task force here: Task Force on Caregiving Press Release.

 

If you are interested in applying for the Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving, send a cover letter and resume to: govappointments@wisconsin.gov

  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2019

Wisconsin Employers Report the Impacts of Caregiving while
State Recognizes National Caregivers Day

 

Madison, WI - The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance is releasing the results of its new statewide employer survey to recognize February 15 as National Caregivers Day. See the full summary of the results here:  Employer Survey Summary
National Caregivers Day is observed annually on the third Friday in February, recognizing the careproviders, both paid and unpaid, who provide personal cares of all types to people with disabilities, older adults and other family members and friends who require support to remain healthy and living in their homes and communities.
It is estimated that in Wisconsin, 549,000 caregivers are providing 588,000 million hours of care to loved ones annually, valued at nearly $6 billion dollars.
Employers recently confirmed the impact of caregiving on the Wisconsin workforce in a survey sponsored by WFACSA and released this month.  Read full News Release here:  National Caregivers Day Press Release.

 

Wisconsin Health News: November 19, 2018

Alliance aims to support family caregiving in the state

 

“Caregiving is going to be a very big issue in the near future,” said Lynn Gall, family caregiver program coordinator at the Department of Health Services and co-chair of the alliance.

Lisa Pugh, director of the Arc Wisconsin and co-chair of the alliance, said organizations involved in the group were previously working in “silos on the aging side, silos on the disability side.” Together, they’ve been able to identify caregiver issues across the populations.

“There are really great resources in both arenas that we really should be sharing,” she said.
 
The alliance isn’t a lobbying organization, but it's looking at how to inform policymakers about changes that could support caregivers.

For example, the alliance had been exploring exceptions to background checks and professional credentials to help caregivers hire family members or other workers they want.

Other policy fields they’re looking into include upping wages for caregivers, increasing respite care funding, paid family and medical leave, creating a registry connecting families to workers in their area and a tax credit for family caregivers.

Pugh added that Wisconsin also hasn’t “really accessed” federal funds for respite care in the same way that other states have and has a less "complete infrastructure" in terms of respite care.

The alliance is also surveying employers on how family caregiving has impacted their business. So far, they’ve heard from around 200 employers, who reported that caregiving has increased emotional stress, led to work schedule changes, requests for personal time off or reduced work hours.

“We want to engage employers as being partners and finding solutions,” Gall said.“Caregiving is going to be a very big issue in the near future,” said Lynn Gall, family caregiver program coordinator at the Department of Health Services and co-chair of the alliance.

Lisa Pugh, director of the Arc Wisconsin and co-chair of the alliance, said organizations involved in the group were previously working in “silos on the aging side, silos on the disability side.” Together, they’ve been able to identify caregiver issues across the populations.

“There are really great resources in both arenas that we really should be sharing,” she said.
 
The alliance isn’t a lobbying organization, but it's looking at how to inform policymakers about changes that could support caregivers.

For example, the alliance had been exploring exceptions to background checks and professional credentials to help caregivers hire family members or other workers they want.

Other policy fields they’re looking into include upping wages for caregivers, increasing respite care funding, paid family and medical leave, creating a registry connecting families to workers in their area and a tax credit for family caregivers.

Pugh added that Wisconsin also hasn’t “really accessed” federal funds for respite care in the same way that other states have and has a less "complete infrastructure" in terms of respite care.

The alliance is also surveying employers on how family caregiving has impacted their business. So far, they’ve heard from around 200 employers, who reported that caregiving has increased emotional stress, led to work schedule changes, requests for personal time off or reduced work hours.

“We want to engage employers as being partners and finding solutions,” Gall said.