GCOA Partners on Campaign to Empower Elder Caregivers

The Power of Touch initiative, developed in partnership with the National Alliance for Caregiving and Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD, launches today with a weeklong social media campaign.

(NEW YORK – May 20, 2019) – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), and Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD launched the Power of Toucha new awareness initiative to empower caregivers and others who engage with and care for older adultsKicking off today with a weeklong social media campaign and the release of an educational video and companion booklet, the initiative draws attention to the power of human touch in caregiving.

The Power of Touch campaign highlights how a “low tech” skin health and wellness tool that is easily accessible to anyone can improve the lives of both family “non-professional” caregivers and the loved ones for whom they care.

While the concept of touch as a tool to promote better care outcomes appears deceptively simple, thoughtful touch can be transformative for caregivers. Clinical studies have demonstrated that intentional therapeutic and compassionate touch improves pain, decreases anxiety, and increases comfort for care recipients in multiple settings. Thoughtful touch helps a caregiver monitor their care recipient’s health, as changes to the skin are often the first sign that there may be a problem.

“Connection conveyed through thoughtful touch remains one of the most impactful yet undervalued elements of care, in any setting,” said Dr. Warren Winkelman, SHIELD Senior Medical Director and Head of Medical Innovation. “Carrying out simple routines – gentle bathing, moisturizing, and applying sun protection – not only allows us to physically and emotionally connect with our loved ones, but also provides an important opportunity to monitor health, noting changes in the skin that could indicate a problem externally and/or internally.”

About 34.5 million Americans currently provide unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or older, and by 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over 65 years of age, increasing the care burden on families. The Power of Touch initiative aims to help this growing group of family caregivers access and appreciate the empathy they already possess to better care for and connect with their loved ones, to feel less apprehension and greater satisfaction in their caregiving.

“As the population ages, it is more important than ever to support the elder caregivers who are doing the critical work of helping their loved ones remain independent, socially connected, and living in their own homes, even as their abilities may change,” said Michael Hodin, PhD, CEO of GCOA. “We are thrilled to be joining Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD and NAC in this important campaign.”

About the National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance supports a network of more than 80 state and local caregiving coalitions and serves as Secretariat for the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO). Learn more at www.caregiving.org.

About Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD

Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD is a global network of innovation and education hubs gathering today’s most creative and visionary thinkers from diverse disciplines to generate, develop, and incubate ideas to advance skin health for tomorrow. SHIELD explores creative partnerships, new concepts, and technologies to help preserve lifelong skin health; mitigate the emergence of skin conditions; and integrate the skin dimension into the public consciousness, discourses on policy, and the organization of age-friendly spaces. More information at www.nestleskinhealth.com/shield.

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