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“There are only four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.” --Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States 

Caregiving—the act of providing assistance and support to another person—is critical to the fabric of society. Caregiving for the young, elderly, sick, and disabled is a necessary part of human existence, but is often undervalued and excluded from policy agendas. Caring for another person can have a positive effect on a caregiver’s life, but the lack of societal value on caregiving and the absence of supportive policies for caregivers can diminish this positive reward. Moreover, the pressure to manage multiple roles can significantly impact a caregiver’s physical well-being, mental health, financial state, and career trajectory. 

In partnership with EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the United States and Canada, the Wilson Center has been examining the economic, health, and societal impacts of caregiving. The Juggling Act of Caregiving: Balancing Career, Health, and Gender Roles was written to provide background for the current caregiving landscape in the United States and to serve as a reference for future dialogues around career, family, gender, and health.

About the Author

Sarah Barnes Headshot

Sarah B. Barnes

Director, Maternal Health Initiative
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Maternal Health Initiative

Life and health are the most basic human rights, yet disparities between and within countries continue to grow. No single solution or institution can address the variety of health concerns the world faces. By leveraging, building on, and coordinating the Wilson Center’s strong regional and cross-cutting programming, the Maternal Health Initiative (MHI) promotes dialogue and understanding among practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and policymakers.  Read more

Global Risk and Resilience Program

The Global Risk and Resilience Program (GRRP) seeks to support the development of inclusive, resilient networks in local communities facing global change. By providing a platform for sharing lessons, mapping knowledge, and linking people and ideas, GRRP and its affiliated programs empower policymakers, practitioners, and community members to participate in the global dialogue on sustainability and resilience. Empowered communities are better able to develop flexible, diverse, and equitable networks of resilience that can improve their health, preserve their natural resources, and build peace between people in a changing world.  Read more