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Merck Launches New Collaboration with United Nations-Guided Global Initiative on Ageing to Support Carers

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  • New training course provides critical skills for unpaid family carers and coincides with European Carers Day and Family Caregiver Awareness Month in the U.S.

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced a new collaboration with the United Nations-Guided Global Initiative on Ageing (GIA) to provide a training course on critical skills for family carers. The course, consisting of 5 modules, provides professional instruction and guidance on essential topics in caregiving such as using medical equipment, creating safe environments and overcoming communication barriers. The course is available on Merck’s Embracing Carers® website:

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Caregivers play a critical role in the lives of millions of patients around the globe. (Photo: Business Wire)

Caregivers play a critical role in the lives of millions of patients around the globe. (Photo: Business Wire)

“As the world’s population of ageing adults continues to significantly increase, the importance of carers has become even more critical to address their health needs,” said Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Chairman of the Global Initiative on Ageing. “By bringing together the trusted experience of the GIA and Merck’s industry-leading carer initiative, Embracing Carers®, we can better support carers around the world with these newly launched, vital courses.”

The availability of the training modules coincides with European Carers Day on October 6, as well as Family Caregiver Awareness Month in the U.S. this November. The modules provide support for a broad range of carers - whether they care for patients impacted by cancer, multiple sclerosis or other diseases and chronic conditions.

“At Merck, we recognize the invaluable role family carers play, not only in the lives of patients, but across the entire healthcare ecosystem. Providing tangible support and resources is the sort of impact we aim to have every single day,” said Peter Guenter, Member of the Executive Board and CEO Healthcare at Merck. “As we embark on this exciting new collaboration with the UN’s Global Initiative on Ageing, I look forward to seeing what more we can achieve in the future.”

Originally developed in Spanish, the modules have been translated into English to reach a broader audience. The modules focus on the following topics:

  • Feeding and nutrition techniques and commonly encountered issues
  • Identifying communication and language problems
  • Assisting with motivation and learning for elderly, disabled, and/or ill people
  • Understanding and encouraging positive social relationships and behaviors in those requiring care
  • Adapting and creating safe and comfortable environments

Additionally, carers who complete the training courses have the option to receive UN certification as a professional caregiver through the GIA website, if desired.

An estimated 17 percent of Americans and Europeans serve as unpaid family carers. A recent Embracing Carers® survey found family carers spend an average of 28 and 26.8 hours in the U.S. and Europe, respectively, on caregiving duties each week. The physical, mental, emotional, and financial stress of caregiving frequently leads to health problems for carers, with 75 percent of survey respondents saying they feel burned out by their caregiving responsibilities.

Against the backdrop of the EU’s Work-Life Balance Directive and the European Care Strategy which shine a light on the social impact of caregiving, Embracing Carers® continues to support carers and partners in all EU countries as governments implement policies and support initiatives that favour carers’ equitable employment and mental health.

Embracing Carers® was launched in 2017 with the mission to raise awareness of the challenges faced by family carers worldwide and to implement targeted initiatives to increase recognition and support for the role of these carers in healthcare systems. Embracing Carers® is driving this mission daily through collaborations with relevant organizations worldwide to increase the visibility and availability of tailored resources; supporting increased policy attention and action; and creating innovative opportunities for healthcare system integration.

GIA’s mission is to support the achievement of the goals set by the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing and its Sustainable Development Goals by improving the standard of living, participation, and inclusion of the world’s ageing population. GIA’s outreach is enhanced by partners in several countries and by virtual learning and policy platforms.

For more information on the training course and to find additional resources for carers, please visit

About Embracing Carers®

Embracing Carers® is a global initiative founded by Merck, which operates its biopharmaceutical business in the U.S. as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Electronics, in collaboration with leading carer organizations around the world, designed to increase awareness, discussion, and action about the often-overlooked needs of carers. Given that carers need support and often do not know where to turn for help, Embracing Carers® was created to fill that void.

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About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. More than 64,000 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 providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2022, Merck generated sales of € 22.2 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare, and EMD Electronics in electronics.


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