By 2030, twenty percent of Minnesota’s population will be over the age of 65. In Minnesota, more than 90 percent of all care for elders is provided by family members and close friends.
But the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation reports that more than 80 percent of family members who actively care for a loved one don’t self-identify as a “caregiver.” This may prevent them from accessing helpful resources. Wilder notes:
Many caregivers suffer from high levels of stress, which can impact their immune system for up to three years after their caregiving ends, thus increasing their chances of developing a chronic illness themselves. More than 40 percent of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression. And women caregivers are more than twice as likely to live in poverty, and caregiving families have median incomes 15 percent lower than non-caregiving families.
To help this population, the Wilder Foundation is launching an awareness campaign. The new “Capacity to Care” campaign is a series of public service advertisements and a website that provides valuable resources and information for people who help care for older adults.