Caregivers Let Out a Silent Scream in New PSA Campaign

The Ad Council and AARP team up to bring attention to the burden caregivers have.

There are 42 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., AARP says, and many of them feel alone and isolated. (Photo: Andrew Bret Wallis/Getty Images)

Aug 16, 2012
Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

Caregivers carry an enormous burden, one that’s not always talked about, acknowledged or eased. But a new ad campaign attempts to shed light on the caregivers’ plight.

The multimedia campaign includes a television PSA that shows various caregivers silently screaming in frustration: A woman sits behind the wheel of her car, an elderly man next to her, kids in the back seat, as she lets out an agonizing yell.

The idea is to draw attention to the millions of unpaid caregivers who often feel overwhelmed, isolated and frustrated caring for others.

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“Only those who care for others know what it’s really like to care for others,” said AARP CEO Barry Rand in a news release (the campaign is a collaboration between AARP and the Ad Council). “That’s why we created a community where caregivers can connect with experts and others facing similar challenges. We hope this campaign will help the millions of family caregivers in the U.S. feel heard and supported, in turn, helping them better care for themselves and for the ones they love.”

The promotion also includes a social media component in addition to PSAs on TV, radio, in print, outdoors and online. The AARP Web site’s Caregiving Resource Center includes an online support group and information on providing care for others as well as themselves.

“I think it’s really going to help with the issue that caregivers don’t self-identify,” Gail Hunt, CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, told TakePart. “It’s going to help them understand that they’re not alone.”

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Hunt added that the ads may also make caregivers’ friends and family members more aware of what they go through. “When you see an ad like this, you’ll think more about it and more about the value of what the caregiver is doing,” she said. “Maybe you’ll even offer to do something.”

Are you a caregiver for a loved one? Tell us about it in the comments.

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