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For Richer or Poorer; A Family Caregiver’s Journey
Prometemos 'en la salud y en la enfermedad' y 'en la riqueza y en la pobreza' esperando nunca enfrentarnos a enfermedades o dificultades financieras. Cuando ocurre una tragedia, a menudo los cónyuges tienen que batallar con ambas cosas; afrontar las responsabilidades de cuidar de su esposo o esposa y velar por su salud y recuperación. Yvette y Walter, de Carolina del Norte, luchan con esto. Tras el derrame cerebral de Walt hace dos años, Yvette, "como cuidadora y esposa ha aprendido a hacerse cargo de... organizar citas médicas, la jardinería, reparaciones y finanzas", mientras continúa trabajando a tiempo completo. Lamentablemente, esta es la realidad de muchos cuidadores familiares. "Lo más difícil ha sido nuestra pérdida financiera... yo gasto más de $1,000 de mi cheque de sueldo al mes para cubrir lo que no cubren los beneficios jubilatorios de Walt y sus cheques del Seguro Social por discapacidad". Durante este Día de San Valentín, recordamos la increíble labor de amor que los cuidadores familiares proveen cada día para sus cónyuges, padres, hermanos y otros. Las historias como la de Yvette y Walt demuestran la necesidad de un crédito tributario para los cuidadores, para brindar apoyo a las familias que luchan contra las dificultades financieras que genera el cuido de un ser querido en el hogar. En el 2016, el cuidador familiar promedio pagó casi $7,000 en gastos de bolsillo; y lo hacen para ayudar a sus seres queridos a permanecer en sus hogares y comunidades, donde prefieren estar. Sin embargo, sabemos que los costos de bolsillo varían. Según un informe de AARP del 2016:
For Richer or Poorer; A Family Caregiver’s Journey
We vow ‘in sickness and in health,’ and ‘for richer or poorer,’ hoping to never experience illnesses or financial difficulties. When tragedy strikes, spouses are often left battling both; taking on the huge responsibilities of caring for their husbands or wives’ needs, and managing their health and recovery. Yvette and Walter from North Carolina live this struggle. After Walt’s stroke 2 years ago, Yvette has, “as caregiver and wife learned to manage…medical appointments, lawn care, repairs and finances," all while continuing to work full time. Sadly, this is reality for so many family caregivers. “The hardest thing has been the financial loss out of our household…I use over $1,000 from my paycheck monthly to cover what Walt's retirement and social security disability checks do not cover.” This Valentine’s Day, we are reminded of the incredible labor of love that family caregivers across the country provide for their spouses, parents, siblings, and others every day. Stories, like Yvette and Walt’s, demonstrate the need for a caregiver tax credit to support families struggling with the financial challenges of at-home caregiving. In 2016, the average family caregiver spent almost $7,000 on out of pocket costs – all to help their loved ones remain at home and in their communities – where they want to be. However, we know that out of pocket costs vary. According to a 2016 AARP report:
4 Reasons to Watch State Offices in 2018
Simmering issues important to all older Americans and their families, like health and financial security, may escalate to a full boil in many state Capitols in 2018. Facing these challenges and opportunities head-on, AARP is already exhaustively at work throughout the country, fighting for the issues that matter and driving an innovative agenda focused on commonsense solutions without the clutter of partisanship. Last year, AARP State Offices achieved huge successes, including new supports for family caregivers, greater access to home and community based services, and new ways to save for retirement. This year, we will continue to find ways to better enable more people to live and age as they choose. Among our top priorities: Supporting Family CaregiversAbout 40 million family caregivers represent the backbone of our country’s care system, providing hours of unpaid care to their loved ones every day. Over the past two years, AARP state offices have worked with state legislators and governors to enact more than 150 new laws that support these unsung heroes. In 2018, AARP will continue to support family caregivers and their loved ones by advancing laws and policies that:
Family caregivers provide $470M in unpaid care
Last week, U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) introduced the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act (S. 1151/H.R. 2505) and AARP endorsed the legislation. The bill would help support America’s family caregivers by offering a federal tax credit for those who qualify.
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People with health insurance through large employers may assume the outcome of the current health debate won’t affect them. But it can. To start, yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that 3 million people would lose employer-based insurance coverage as a result of changes proposed in the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But the bill’s harmful effects would reach far beyond those 3 million people; in fact, virtually everyone is vulnerable. Here’s how:
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“Taking care of my mother with Alzheimer's was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. When I was in the U.S Navy, I had the 2nd most dangerous job in the world by working the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Yes, it was harder than that.” – Ray
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En español | Think for a moment how busy and chaotic everyday life can be: juggling careers, kids, finances and more. Now imagine also caring for a parent, spouse or child with a disability, maybe even around the clock. Every day about 40 million Americans — myself included — care for our loved ones so they can live independently at home and in their communities, where they want to be.
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Every day we hear from family caregivers like Marcus, Tish and Iris about the challenges they face helping their older loved ones remain at home — where they want to be.
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Debra from New Jersey is on the verge of losing her house to foreclosure because she can’t keep up with paying the bills and helping her mom, who has dementia, remain at home. To keep Mom out of a nursing home, Debra is responsible for taking care of her 24/7. This can be a huge juggling act, involving bathing and dressing, preparing meals, managing medications, coordinating activities and more. Add in full-time employment, and life can become quite complicated, even though Debra hires an aide to stay with Mom while she’s on the job.
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By Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
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