Every day there are 40 million Americans who dutifully and thanklessly take on the task of caring for an older loved one. They do it out of love and they do it because they are moved to. They postpone careers and personal lives and sometimes, put their own well being on hold. While they can enhance the quality of life of those for whom they provide care, studies show that caregivers are often terrible at caring for themselves.
Caring for older loved ones is part of a predictable cycle of human life yet there’s very little that can prepare someone for such a physical and emotional undertaking. The many responsibilities and hardships aren’t always evenly doled out to those who are capable of providing care either. Without the support of other family members, caring for a loved one can be an isolating experience.
Because of this, many caregivers don’t know to raise their hands for help when they need it.
AARP and The Ad Council approached us with the task of raising awareness on behalf of caregivers everywhere and alert them to the tools they need to better navigate the challenges of caring for their older loved ones.
We found that more than anything, caregivers want to feel understood and be heard. Not for selfish reasons, but for their own mental and emotional wellbeing. By accepting the responsibility of caring for an older loved one and the incredible amount of emotional and time commitments caregiving entails, their worlds become smaller and their connections much more limited. They feel completely alone.
Our task was to let them know that not only are their concerns being heard, there is an entire caregiving community of experts and other caregivers who've also experienced these challenges and are willing to lend their guidance and emotional support.
2013 David Ogilvy Research Award