March 21, 2019

Helping Family Caregivers With What They Need to Know

By John Schall, Chief Executive Officer of Caregiver Action Network

Being a family caregiver for a spouse, parent, child, or loved one takes time, effort and work. The role that family caregivers play is a vital one, because they are the one constant in the patient’s life. They are the ones sitting next to their loved one’s hospital bed, running to the pharmacy to pick up medications, and providing care for their loved one at home.  It is safe to say that family caregivers know more about their loved one than anyone else.

Caregiver Action Network’s Caregiver Lunch & Learn program was developed to give those caring for a loved one – whether a senior, someone with mental illness, or a child with significant health care needs – the tools they need to be an active member of the health care team. During these sessions, family members learn how to advocate for their loved one’s health care goals and how to apply those goals when making decisions around a care plan. Those in attendance also will be encouraged to share their stories and learn from each other’s experiences.

Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease.

To date, CAN has held 11 Caregiver Lunch & Learns across the country, with three more scheduled this year and more likely to be added soon. Upcoming Lunch & Learns include:

  • Saturday, March 30, in Orlando, Florida
  • Saturday, May 18, in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Saturday, August 10, in Cleveland, Ohio
  • All family caregivers are invited to these free sessions. To learn more about the Lunch & Learns and to register, visit our website.

Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is a nonprofit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge. For more information about supporting caregivers, visit

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