Public outreach campaigns to promote caregiving services and reach caregivers in the community can help people better understand the services and supports available to help them in their caregiving roles.
Minnesota and Washington: Outreach to Caregivers
The state of Minnesota awarded a nonprofit organization, the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, a state grant to expand a caregiving outreach campaign statewide. The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, located in Minnesota, first received a grant from a charitable foundation to launch a campaign to raise community awareness of caregiving in St. Paul, MN, and then received state funding to expand the outreach campaign statewide. The caregiving awareness campaign used multiple modes of outreach, including bus advertisements, radio, social media, and print advertisements. The campaign also incorporated engagement and outreach in libraries, pharmacies, and at community events; and print media such as posters and brochures. The campaign led to the engagement of faith communities in supporting caregivers, and public service announcements on local public television. The Wilder Foundation reports the campaign received more than 170 million media impressions since 2011.
Building on the success of the campaign in Minnesota, in 2017, The Wilder Foundation partnered with the state of Washington to adapt the materials in support of Washington’s family caregiving campaign. See the photos below of bus and bus shelter ads, billboards, posters, rack cards, and brochures.
As part of this effort, Washington State created educational place mats that can be used at senior centers and other meal sites:
In 2015 the Minnesota Board on Aging created a media outreach campaign in partnership with local area agencies on aging, public media outlets, providers, and community members for new immigrants on caring for older adults. The campaign included informational videos produced in Cambodian, English, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish. Minnesota currently is developing a tribal caregiver education badge based on interviews and collaboration with tribal communities.
New York: Outreach to Employers
In 2021, New York launched a campaign targeting businesses in the state to support outreach to employed caregivers. The campaign includes a survey to businesses and employees and outreach materials (see below). The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about working caregivers and services available, and to help working caregivers connect to these supports while measuring their caregiving experience. The campaign also aims to help caregivers navigate potential challenges they face in balancing their work and family lives.
This campaign was developed in partnership between the New York Office for the Aging, the Department of Health, and the Department of Labor, working with the Association on Aging in New York representing the state’s area agencies on aging. The partnership also engages with the national family caregiving company, ARCHANGELS, allowing caregivers to use the Caregiver Intensity IndexTM online platform.
New York Outreach Materials for the Employed Family Caregivers Campaign
Research has found that approximately 60 percent of family caregivers are employed outside of the home. Targeting employed family caregivers, the state noted that:
- 69% of working caregivers report having to change or adapt their work schedule to meet caregiving responsibilities
- 75 percent of people trust their employer, noting employees may be more likely to use information about caregiving provided through their employer
As states implement new paid and family leave benefits supporting caregivers, they have an opportunity to develop and promote similar educational campaigns to employed caregivers.
Wisconsin: Customized Caregiver Materials and Toolkits
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services publishes materials for caregivers on its state website and on WisconsinCaregiver.org. Wisconsin collaborated with the private company TRUALTA to develop a training and education website. The Greater Wisconsin Agencies on Aging Resources (GWAAR), a private nonprofit organization and AAA that receives funding through the Older Americans Act, supports caregivers by creating marketing materials for counties and tribes, compiled in the Wisconsin Family Caregiver Marketing Toolkit. Materials include customizable fact sheets and brochures to educate caregivers on available programs and learning opportunities in local communities. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also maintains a Dementia-Friendly Employers Toolkit which provides resources for employers and employees.
Learning from Caregiver Outreach During COVID-19
States used their aging and disability resource centers to support caregivers via outreach during the pandemic by quickly utilizing technology when in-person contact was impossible. New Hampshire and Colorado outreached to family caregivers to assess pandemic-related needs and impact. New Hampshire offered a pandemic-specific self-care series for caregivers, Supporting Caregivers During COVID. Colorado incorporated virtual caregiver respite, including packages with self-care resources and opportunities for caregivers to connect through Zoom.
Source: U.S. Administration for Community Living, State Strategies For Supporting Caregivers handout