Innovation Continues To Help Caregivers

Posted on December 07, 2011 by Michael Corley

The statistics are overwhelming. Given that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 each day, and given that our overall population trends continue to show increased longevity, there are more caregivers in America today than ever before. And the number is growing rapidly.

Fortunately, a number of philanthropic foundations recognize that caregiving can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because caregiving brings out the best in each of us, and a curse because it can come with some heavy burdens.

Foundations are positioned to help in the field of caregiving because they have the resources and flexibility to fund creative products, services and protocols to assist the caregiver. (Private enterprises have little incentive to operate in this arena today because there is limited gain to be had. I suspect this will change over time.)

The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation funded entrepreneurial non-profits interested in developing and testing new approaches to caregiving. With capital to bring their ideas to fruition, and with the expectation that outcomes data be captured and studied, several organizations pursued innovation.

Our partner, Share the Care in Orlando, used its seed capital to create www.caregivercentral.org.  Other examples of entrepreneurial pursuits with the funding from Weinberg are included in the this AARP.org article.

Given the staggering number of future caregivers, I would anticipate that there will be more and more innovation as to how to care for our loved ones in this setting. Until then, there are a few non-profits that are off to a good start.


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