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Brown County Caregiver Coalition

The Brown County Caregiver Coalition is a group of caregivers, businesses, and organizations committed to caregivers in our community. The coalition's mission is:

To support and strengthen caregiving relationships through advocacy, education, and community outreach.

The group meets monthly and consists of individual caregivers, advocates, and representatives of these organizations and businesses:
ADRC Brown CountyDisabled American Veterans Auxiliary, Unit 3
ALS Association - WI ChapterWLUK Fox 11 - WCWF CW 14
ASPIROGreen Bay Veterans Health Care Center
Astor House Bed & BreakfastInterim Healthcare
Brown County UW-ExtensionMoraine Ridge
Company MagazineROCK'N W RANCH
Curative Connections

For more information about the Brown County Caregiver Coalition, contact Christel Giesen at (920) 448-4297 or

Some Current Initiatives Include

Survey Caregivers to Identify their needs

Distribute surveys community wide to learn from caregivers who are providing informal support to adult family members, friends, or neighbors. Our goal is to learn how adult caregiver is affecting residents of Brown County, identify strengths, and understand needs and challenges caregivers face as they care for their loved ones. The results will be used to determine how the community can support and enhance caregivers in their important role.
  • The Employed Caregiver Survey is a confidential, on-line tool that can help employers identify how family caregiving is affecting their workplace. The composite results can help employers and employees understand how family caregiving is affecting work and identify ways employers can support family caregivers through educational programs (employee communication, lunchtime seminars, etc.), and what resources would be helpful to plan for caregiving needs. With one in six employees caring for an adult with disabilities or older family member this knowledge can be a great asset to employers. (Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project) Interested businesses and employers can contact the ADRC at (920) 448-4300.
  • Survey for Caregivers who are not currently employed is similar to the Employed Caregiver survey in that it is confidential and information will only be shared in combined, non-identifying manner. The survey takes 15 minutes to complete.
Support and Lift Up Caregivers
  • Annual Spring Caregiver Get A Way Day is an event for family and informal caregivers in Brown County offering the opportunity to connect with eachother, relax, laugh, learn something new, and about resources available to support their caregiving journey.
  • MUG Club is a monthly gathering for caregivers meeting the 2nd Tuesday each month at 5:30 pm at the ADRC, 300 S. Adams, Green Bay.
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers - an educational program designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend. Workshops run throughout the year. You can partner with the ADRC to offer this powerful program contact the ADRC at (920) 448-4300 to find out how.
  • Advocacy - Educate caregivers and the community about pending legislation and communication about issues.
  • Education and Community Awareness - Annual event to celebrate and honor caregivers each November during National Family Caregivers Awareness Month.

When we talk about caregivers, who are we talking about?

Too often, we do not recognize ourselves as caregivers regardless of the care and support we provide.

Caregivers are anyone who provides unpaid care to a relative or friend. This may include helping with personal needs (eating, bathing, dressing, or toileting; getting out of bed; getting around inside; getting outside) or household chores, preparing meals, managing finances, taking to medical appointments, keeping track of medications, arranging for services, or visiting regularly to see how they are doing.

The loved one may live with their caregiver, but often they live in their own home; they may even live in a care facility or in another state. Young adults may participate in the care of their grandparents; adults in their 50s and 60s may be caring for an aging parent or parent-in-law; and older adults may provide care to spouses or siblings.
In Wisconsin, we have approximately 549,000 caregivers who provide 588 million hours of care valued at $5,837million. (

Nationally, an estimated 43.5 million adults have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months. Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 The value of services provided by informal caregivers had an estimated economic value of $470 billion in 2013, which exceeded the value of paid home care and total Medicaid spending in the same year. (AARP Public Policy Institute 2015)

The “average” U.S. caregiver is a 49- year-old woman who works outside the home and spends nearly 20 hours per week—the equivalent of another part-time job—providing unpaid care to her mother for nearly five years. More information at this Caregiving in the US 2015 Typical CG Profile link.

Some interesting facts about those who are caregiving in the US:
  • The majority of caregivers are female, but 40% are male.
  • Eight in 10 are taking care of one person
  • 85% of caregivers provide care for a relative, with 49% caring for a parent or parent-in-law.
  • One in 10 provides care for a spouse
  • 10% of all caregivers are Veteran's and 10% of people cared for are Veterans.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 caregivers is 75 years of age or older
  • One in six of all employees are caregivers and nearly 25% of middle aged and older workers (ages 45-64) report being family caregivers: the largest of any age group in the labor force. (AARP Public Policy Institute: Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work)
Why is this important?

Caregivers are an incredible resource within our families and communities. In the United States, families and friends provide more than 80% of the care provided to older adults. As the population grows older, the need for adult caregiving will be as common as the need for childcare.

Between 2012 and 2050, the U.S. population of people 65 years of age and older will almost double to 83.7 million. Though the fact that we are living longer plays a role, the baby boomers are largely responsible for this increase in the older population, as they began turning 65 in 2011 and will continue turning 65 through 2029. By that time, more than one in five Wisconsinites will be 65 or older. Between 2010 and 2035, Wisconsin’s younger (under 65) population is expected to grow by less than 4% while the 65+ population nearly doubles, increasing by 90%. (2013-2015 Wisconsin Plan for Older People)
The demand for caregivers is increasing significantly not only because of sheer numbers but also because the fastest growing age group is those 80 years of age and older, which is also a time when people are more likely to experience a significant physical and/or cognitive impairment.

We are not usually prepared for the role of caregiver and often provide care with little or no support, which may result in stress, anxiety, depression and isolation. When added to the physical strain of assisting with daily tasks such as bathing, transferring and other personal care activities, this can lead to increased health care needs for the caregiver. Additionally, caregivers are often impacted financially. Some lose income, Social Security or other retirement benefits, and career opportunities if they have to cut back on work hours or leave the workforce. They may also incur substantial out-of- pocket expenses that may undermine their own future financial security.

Taking care of someone can be a joy, but it can be hard too — even when it's someone you love. We need to find creative ways to engage caregivers, provide support and relief so they can continue their critical role in their families and communities. It is imperative we meet them where they are at providing respite during “day away” events and offering real solutions to the challenges they face. Education and skills training can improve caregiver confidence and ability to manage daily care challenges. Counseling, self-care, relaxation training, and respite programs can improve both the caregiver and care recipient’s quality of life. (Families Caring for an Aging America National Academy of Sciences)
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