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Past Events

RCI hosts national conversation about caregivers

On November 2, the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) hosted Caregiving in the 21st Century: A National Conversation in Atlanta. The day-long event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, from clinicians to advocates to philanthropists to corporate leaders and, of course, caregivers.

The conversation focused on caregivers and the new strategic vision of RCI – one driven by data, programming, and partnerships. It was a great occasion to recognize November as National Family Caregivers Month. You can read more about the event below, and see some of the press coverage it garnered here and here.

Among the speakers to take the stage was writer and actress Lauren Miller Rogen, co-founder of Hilarity for Charity, an organization that provides caregiver support and hopes to inspire the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates. Miller Rogen spoke about her personal journey as a caregiver and anchored the day's discussions around the importance of caring for families who provide care, and in doing so shed light on how diverse the caregiving journey of individual caregivers can be.

Dr. Patrice Harris, president-elect of the American Medical Association, spoke about the serious health implications providing care can have on family caregivers, who by and large are untrained and trying to navigate the health care system as individuals. Without the same knowledge base and stress management skills that registered nurses and other care professionals acquire over years of training and practice, Dr. Harris emphasized the importance of creating support systems for family caregivers in order to improve not only caregiver health but also the quality of care they provide for loved ones.

The clinical perspective was far from the only one represented at the event. Corporate leaders, like Allison Ellison, the head of Home Health for Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness, spoke to the importance of corporate responsibility in providing for caregivers.

Ellison spoke about the ways in which partnerships between corporations and private initiatives could leverage expertise and resources at a large scale, and thus improve health outcomes for the caregiving population.

Of course, caregivers also took center stage the event. Lisette Carbajal, a millennial caregiver who became an advocate for an end to Alzheimer’s disease when her father was diagnosed during her third year in college, and Abby Maslin, who became a best-selling author after writing a book about how her husband’s traumatic brain injury turned her into a full-time caregiver, both spoke to the unique challenges – and sources of inspiration – they discovered on their journey of caregiving.

In describing the future trajectory of RCI during the event, Dr. Olsen emphasized the “three pillars” that guide RCI’s approach to supporting caregivers: data, programming, and partnerships. By utilizing burgeoning partnerships with Duke University and Sesame Workshop to improve evidence-based programming and leveraging strategic partnerships from the corporate and philanthropic worlds, we will be able to transform the caregiving landscape in real and impactful ways.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter also spoke at the event, reflecting on her personal journey as a caregiver as a young woman. It was her own experience that inspired the founding of RCI over three decades ago, and since then, she explained, RCI has pushed for an improved support system for America’s caregivers. RCI was honored to have such an accomplished and dedicated gathering of stakeholders, diverse in its backgrounds and expertise, and RCI remains grateful for what was learned by all who attended.

The conversation may have begun on November 5, but RCI is determined for it to continue. Bringing everyone together in Atlanta was another step on the path toward better supporting the more than 40 million family caregivers in America. Guided by the three pillars, RCI will continue to lead the charge in bringing groundbreaking support systems to the largest care delivery system in the United States: our caregivers.

RCI event F19 1     RCI event F19 2     RCI event F19 3

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