By Katherine Scott, Senior Manager, Membership Services and Certifications
Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with significant health needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.
CAN, which was founded in 1993 as the National Family Caregivers Association, has focused on raising awareness about the existence of family caregivers as both a specific cohort within the population and, equally importantly, on striving to help family caregivers recognize their role and providing education, support, and a public voice to enable them to speak up and reach out for the help they need.
Some of the major accomplishments include the huge rise in public awareness of family caregiving as measured by the exponential growth in media coverage; the passage of the National Family Caregivers Support Program; the acceptance of the term “family caregiver” by thought leaders; and the realization by government officials and others that family caregiving is a lifespan issue, not one restricted to the aging community.
CAN provides websites targeted to specific caregivers including ones for cancer caregivers, rare disease caregivers, and one that helps major companies and organizations provide their caregiving employees the resources they need to help with their caregiving responsibilities so that they can remain productive and healthy employees.
CAN is a member of the National Health Council because they stand side-by-side with the NHC and other members in their commitment to creating a united voice for the more than 160 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. CAN believes the NHC’s policy expertise and influence as a unified patient advocacy voice are second to none.
For information on becoming an NHC member, email me.