Recognizing that South Florida is at the epicenter of economic and emotional issues facing caregivers, the South Florida Institute on Aging brought together business and community leaders in August 2017 to identify the top issues facing caregivers. After 6 months of thoughtful planning and discussion, the Caregiver Coalition of South Florida was announced at SoFIA's inaugural Caregiver Symposium. Since August 2017, its founding members of this grassroots effort has worked on a vision, mission and a plan that will ensure we take action towards generating local solutions to help our caregivers thrive.
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“Caregiving has been my life’s work, both personally and professionally,” said Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief. “I applaud [SoFIA's] leadership in bringing business, government and nonprofit leaders together to have an important policy discussion that will lead to action by the new Coalition.”
“We can’t solve problems alone,” said Peter Kaldes, President and CEO, South Florida Institute on Aging. “Caregiving is an issue that impacts the aging community as well as children and adults. That is why we’re happy to have our longtime partners and friends by our side as part of the new Caregiver Coalition.”
“We’re proud to be part of the new Caregiver Coalition,” said Kim Praitano, CEO of Gilda’s Club of South Florida. “Part of the mission of Gilda’s Club is to sustain caregivers by community, and the Caregivers Coalition is helping us to fulfill that mission.”
Caregivers Matter. Caregiving is an issue that will affect most Americans at some point in their lives – whether it’s caring for a child with special needs, a terminally ill spouse, or an aging parent. An astonishing 44 million Americans care for a parent, spouse, child, sibling, or friend with a physical or developmental disability, chronic illness, mental illness, or issues of aging. Whether providing some help with errands, coordinating transportation to medical appointments, or managing round-the-clock personal care, caregivers can be the backbone of care in Broward County. With limited publicly funded caregiving however, working caregivers play an increasingly important role - often with significant consequences.
Caregivers Face Economic Costs. Faced with unique caregivers take on risks to their own physical, emotional, and financial health. Many watch their savings dry up, absorb the financial hit of having to pass up promotions, or are even forced to leave the workplace altogether. These stakes can be especially high for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families who are already struggling to make ends meet, and may have jobs that cannot provide the flexibility caregivers often need.
The Caregiver Coalition will work towards developing and promoting knowledge and action around critical economic and emotional issues facing caregivers.
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About the Caregiver Coalition of South Florida. With its unique population, South Florida is at the epicenter of these national caregiving issues. That is why the undersigned from business, human services, academia and government have agreed to come together to The Caregiver Coalition of South Florida will work towards developing a range of responses and programs that are free and open to all, promote knowledge and action around critical issues, and provide access to help for unpaid family caregivers in our region. Founding members of the Coalition include:
AARP South Florida Institute on Aging
AgeWell Global Law Office of Stephanie Schneider
ArcBroward Nova Southeastern University
Broward Health Preziosi Partners
Fusion Analytics Investment Partners Trustbridge Health
Gilda's Club South Florida ValueCare At Home
Home Care Assistance of Ft. Lauderdale Vitas Healthcare
Humana Whole Care Network
Joy Siegel, EdD