Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, launches Global Initiative to Recognize and Support the Pivotal Role of Unpaid Caregivers

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany today launched Embracing Carers™, a global initiative to recognize and raise awareness of the crucial role of unpaid carers.

05 Oct 2017 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • New findings address the emotional, financial and health implications of being an unpaid carer
  • 42% of unpaid carers surveyed report putting the health of the person they are caring for above their own; more than half report their physical health has suffered
  • Leading organizations come together to raise carer challenges as a public health priority

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany today launched Embracing Carers, a global initiative to recognize and raise awareness of the crucial role of unpaid caregivers. At the International Carers Conference in Adelaide, Australia, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany unveiled the findings of the Embracing Carer™ International Survey which concludes that a strong need for increased support to caregivers exists globally. Since caregivers are people who provide unpaid assistance to someone in need, their own needs are often overlooked.


Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board and CEO Healthcare of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, said: “Working with caregiver thought leaders, we aim to elevate caregiving as a global public health priority. Not enough services and programs exist today to help caregivers address their own health and well-being and it’s our aim to champion caregiver support and become a long-standing partner for the caregiver community. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s responsibility and commitment to helping patients live longer, more fulfilled lives, stretch beyond medical innovation for patients.”

Advised by leading caregiver organizations from around the world, Embracing Carers™ is a multi-dimensional initiative to fill the need for better support and recognition of caregivers. As its first steps, Embracing Carers™ has undertaken to:

  1. Support the caregiver infrastructure by making possible the International Alliance of Carer Organizations’ (IACO) Carer Toolkit, providing countries without a caregiver infrastructure the information to develop a national caregiver organization.
  2. Convene caregiver organizations from across the world to serve as strategic advisors in increasing support and recognition of caregivers.
  3. Develop calls to action to broaden stakeholder engagement, increase global awareness of challenges, drive legislative action and engage with healthcare systems.

The survey1, which questioned 3,516 unpaid caregivers across seven countries (Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, United States), revealed a strong need for increased support to caregivers. In fact, more than half (55%) of unpaid caregivers feel that their physical health has suffered as a result of their caregiver duties and 54% of unpaid caregivers don’t often have time to book or attend medical appointments for themselves.

Co-created with the Embracing Carers™ strategic advisors, the Embracing Carers™ Carers Report: Embracing the Critical Role of Carers Around the World was also presented at the conference. The report concluded that caring for a loved one is an activity that cuts across most demographic groups, including age, race, educational attainment and household income.

“The Embracing Carers™ International Survey and Carers Report clearly demonstrates the need for more action to be conducted on an international level to address the challenges that family caregivers face when caring for a family member or friend,” said Rick Greene, Executive Advisor, International Alliance of Carer Organizations. “The coming together of industry and advocacy results in greater expertise, resources and support for caregivers within healthcare systems wherever they live.”

Embracing Carers is advised by leading caregiver organizations including the Caregiver Action Network, Carers Australia, Carers UK, Carers Worldwide, Eurocarers, National Alliance for Caregiving, International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) and Shanghai Roots & Shoots, China.

For more information on Embracing Carers™, the International Survey or Carers Report, visit our website at


For more Information, contact Lisa Buffington

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. Around 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operate as MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare, and EMD Electronics in electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

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