SCAN launches millennial-focused caregiver campaign

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A new SCAN Foundation campaign aims to provide support and provoke discussion or the 10 million millennials who currently act as family caregivers, group executives said.

Some staffing experts estimate that millennials also will soon represent half of the nursing home workforce, if it hasn't happened already.

Do YOU give a care?, which launched Wednesday, offers online community, videos, graphics, and social channels for caregivers and allies to share their stories and find resources. The campaign comes on the heels of an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that found 80% millennial caregivers surveyed said they were moderately to extremely stressed, a higher rate than among than Generation X caregivers. LeadingAge also launched a millennial-focused campaign last month.

“A lot of the narrative about millennials is incorrect," Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of the SCAN Foundation, told McKnight's. "Millennials, in particular, face a really hard time in their lives. While they were trying to get into jobs and workforce training and doing all the things that may have created the perception that they are focused, an enormous number also have been recurrent caregivers. Candidly, that's very different than for previous generations."

More than half of all older adults will need care at some point in their lives and one-third of 18- to 39-year-olds, or 10 million individuals, are already providing this daily care, SCAN found. While the campaign focuses on young caregivers taking care of family members, it also gives senior providers an opportunity, Chernof said. Senior living communities offering adult day care, respite care or other community resources may be able to reach millennials and introduce them to caregiving options.

It's important for senior living providers to know that millennials "are engaged with older adults and will be helping older adults make decisions about housing and care needs," he said.