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Fighting for Family Caregivers

caregiving blogMike is a 55-year-old Mississippian and a family caregiver for his lifelong friend Joe, who suffered a stroke.  Mike has found more emotional strength than he knew he had when the reality hit that caring for Joe is a 24-hour-a-day job.

Nancy went from daughter to family caregiver, and after weeks of sleeping in her father’s hospital room, stress-filled months and sleepless nights, she learned to rely on her siblings, make a plan and step back into her life.

Amy is an AARP expert on caregiving, juggling work and family.  She now cares for her father in her own home.  Until her mother passed away recently, both of Amy’s parents lived with her. Family caregivers are all around us: friends, family members, acquaintances – ourselves.  No matter the situation, we face many challenges as we help aging parents and other loved ones live independently. The reality is: Every day family caregivers do remarkable things.   For example:

This is why AARP is fighting to make sure family caregivers have the support they need to safely help their loved ones stay at home. This year, AARP launched a new multistate caregiving advocacy campaign, with nearly every AARP state office involved.  Working with governors, state legislators, other policymakers and community partners, we’re determined to advance policy options that will help family caregivers.  Two significant components of the campaign are:

The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act

Ten AARP state offices are working to pass the CARE Act through state legislation or regulation this year, with Oklahoma and Hawaii leading the way.

By passing the CARE Act  states will ensure that:

For more on AARP’s advocacy: AARP Announces 2014 Advocacy Agenda: Across the States

State Plan in Support of Family Caregivers

Last year ArizonaIllinoisOklahomaTennessee and West Virginia passed resolutions to better support and understand the needs of family caregivers. This year, 20 additional states are working to create a State Plan in Support of Family Caregivers. Already, Delaware, Mississippi, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina and Utah have achieved victories. The State Plan in Support of Family Caregivers:

Additionally, AARP is fighting to:

If you are a family caregiver, you’re not alone.

Follow me on Twitter @RoamTheDomes for more news on caregiving and other advocacy across the country.

11/12/14 CARE Act Update: 
Oklahoma: On November 1st, 2014, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to enact the CARE Act.
Hawaii: The state legislature created a task force to explore the elements of the CARE Act and determine the feasibility of introducing the bill in the 2015 session. The task force is due to report back to the legislature by January 1, 2015.
New Jersey: The CARE Act passed the State Senate and State Assembly, without a single no vote, and is now awaiting Gov. Christie’s signature.