EMD Serono launches Caregivers Concierge: An online resource hub for caregivers in Alberta

The platform will provide support to the province’s one million[1] unpaid caregivers with unique offers, resources and services

15 Jun 2023 | Calgary, Canada

Launching today, Caregivers Concierge™ is an online resource hub developed by EMD Serono that makes finding local resources easier for the one million unpaid caregivers in Alberta.

Caregivers who are vital to patients and facing more pressure than ever in an overburdened healthcare system can now visit caregiversconcierge.ca for an index of platforms, programs, resources, special offers and discounted services to help them easily find and connect with the support they need, all in one place.

“Caregivers (carers) often sacrifice their own health and well-being for the sake of people they love and too often they shoulder an unequal burden in our healthcare system,” said Javed Alam, Managing Director, EMD Serono. “We believe that supporting caregivers can lead to better patient outcomes, and Caregivers Concierge is one of the many ways EMD Serono is working to build a better network of support for carers.”

In Alberta, more than one in five people aged 15 and up provide unpaid care for loved ones, with nearly 600,000 of them 19 or younger.1,2 Young caregivers alone provide 192 million hours of unpaid care annually, which can take a toll on their physical, mental and financial well-being.2

“I cared for my wife for 16 months as she gradually died from a rare lung cancer. It was the best job I’ve ever had and a never-ending act of love. She and I were partners in her journey – we did it together,” said John-Peter Bradford, caregiver, cancer survivor, co-CEO and co-founder of the Life-Saving Therapies Network. “It stretched my skills and abilities to their limits, and I developed new ones. We grew a dependable support network comprising family, healthcare professionals, friends and others. I also made sure to take care of my physical, mental and emotional well-being. I had a very good teacher. My wife cared for me a few years before her illness, when I was battling head and neck cancer.”

In addition to support and resources from local organization Caregivers Alberta, vendors launching with Caregivers Concierge include: Team CarePalTM, an Alberta-based startup app for caregivers to connect and receive support through palliative care; and GoAsAGroup®, a platform offering discounts on retail goods, meal kit services, experiences and more.

“Despite contributing 647 million hours of unpaid care and $11.5 billion to the economy annually, Albertan caregivers often feel unseen and unsupported,” said Darrel Gregory, Executive Director, Caregivers Alberta. “We appreciate that organizations like EMD Serono, Canada are working on a local level to shine a spotlight on their needs and help make sure they’re met.”

EMD Serono released its first-ever global Carer Well-Being Index in 2021, revealing alarming trends affecting Canadian Caregivers after the pandemic. Canada ranked sixth for government support for carer-employees (CEs) and last for employer support among the 12 participating countries. Compared to the 12-country global average, Canadian carers are more likely to provide emotional support, manage appointments and home maintenance services as key responsibilities as a caregiver.3

EMD Serono hopes to expand Caregivers Concierge with more partners, vendors, platforms, services and local businesses to provide support for the one in four (8.1 million) Canadians who are caregivers.

According to EMD Serono’s Carer Well-Being Index:3

  • 71% of carers in Canada feel more burnt out than ever from caring for someone during the pandemic
  • 95% feel society doesn’t recognize their work as vital
  • 66% report caregiving has negatively impacted their emotional or mental health
  • 56% feel being a carer negatively impacts their financial health

Embracing Carers® in Alberta
EMD Serono launched its online portal during its Embracing Carers in Alberta event. The event, hosted by Canadian television personality Lainey Lui, shed light on the increasing caregiver demand in Alberta due to a rise in diseases requiring significant caregiving efforts, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer. The panelists included Johnna Lowther, Director, Programs and Services at Caregivers Alberta, Janet Fast, Co-Director of the Research on Aging Policies and Practice (RAPP) at the University of Alberta and John-Peter Bradford, caregiver, cancer survivor, co-CEO and co-founder of the Life-Saving Therapies Network.

Visit www.caregiversconcierge.ca to find the resources dedicated to caregivers. To learn more about EMD Serono’s global Embracing Carers Initiative, visit: https://www.emdserono.ca/ca-en/company/embracing-carers.html

For further information: Smita Devane-Bhan

1 https://www.caregiversalberta.ca/about-caregiving/

2 https://rapp.ualberta.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/49/2019/09/2019-10-01-Young-Caregivers-in-Canada-infographic.pdf

3 https://www.emdserono.ca/ca-en/company/embracing-carers.html

About EMD Serono
EMD Serono - the healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the U.S. and Canada - aspires to create, improve and prolong life for people living with difficult-to-treat conditions like infertility, multiple sclerosis and cancer.  The business is imagining the future of healthcare by working to translate the discovery of molecules into potentially meaningful outcomes for people with serious unmet medical needs. EMD Serono’s global roots go back more than 350 years with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Today, there are approximately 100 employees across Canada headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. www.emdserono.ca

About Embracing Carers®
Embracing Carers is a global initiative led by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. It is a collaboration with leading caregiver organizations around the world designed to increase awareness, discussion, and action about the often-overlooked needs of caregivers. Given that caregivers need support and often do not know where to turn for help, Embracing Carers was created to fill that void.