Global Organisations Working to Advance Carers’ Issues

Global leaders from more than 14 countries will meet in September to discuss the actions to meet the needs of family carers across the world. The third international meeting of the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO), will focus in particular on strategies to safeguard the health and well-being of carers, build supportive workplace environments, and increase recognition of carer needs. Health issues, including heart failure and supporting children with special needs, will also be on the agenda.

“Aging adults and people with disabilities rely on friends and family to provide unpaid support, but carers need support too. Often carers neglect their own health, economic security, and individual needs to care for a loved one,” explained Rick Greene, M.S.W., Executive Advisor to IACO, who convenes the IACO coalition and organizes the annual meeting. “As global leaders, we can learn from one another about how to tackle the needs of this complex population.”

The member countries in IACO share issues, gaps and challenges facing carers within their borders. Currently, the coalition represents national carer groups in the Australia, Canada, Finland, India and Nepal, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Attendees from Taiwan, Japan, Germany, and France have also been invited to attend.

Global data clearly illustrates the growing need to support carers. IACO members represent over 434 million caregivers, who typically provide a minimum of 24 hours of unpaid care per week over an average of five years. These individuals often have to balance work responsibilities, unpaid care duties and personal commitments, while sacrificing their own health and well-being.

“Caring for family, friends and loved ones, once seen as a personal and private matter in family life, has now become one of the most important social policy issues in Canada and around the world,: ” said Nadine Henningsen, President of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition and representative for Canada. “IACO is working towards a unified strategy that leverages innovative programs from around the globe, mentors countries that lack carer infrastructure, and provide a united voice for carers on with international planning bodies such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations.”

The coalition will convene its meeting on 2 September 2015, immediately prior to the 6th International Carers Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden in addition to showcasing our work at the conference. IACO is grant-supported from partnering organisations, including AbbVie, Right at Home International, Eli Lilly, and Novartis. IACO members will be available for press interviews on September 2nd.

To register for the International Carers Conference, please visit

For questions about IACO, please contact Rick Greene at rickgreene(at)caregiving(dot)org. For media inquiries, please contact Grace Whiting at gracewhiting(at)caregiving(dot)org or +1 (901) 652-3862.

About IACO
The International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) is an international organization founded in 2012 by caregiving organizations from 7 countries that provides cohesive direction, facilitates information sharing, and actively advocates for family caregiving at an international level. IACO members include both non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations that demonstrate an understanding of family carers, a willingness to collaborate and communicate, and a commitment to the IACO vision of establishing a global understanding and recognition of the integral role of carers to care recipients, health and social care systems, and society. For more information on IACO, please visit