Across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP is fighting to help families address important day-to-day issues — from caring for a loved one to retiring with confidence. In fact, this year alone we’ve successfully fought to bring more support to millions of family caregivers and help millions of workers save for retirement.
But we didn’t do this critical work alone. Progress is possible thanks to the state legislators who write, support and move legislation, and who work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get things done.
To recognize these elected leaders, AARP is announcing our . . .
- Third bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers — those who have fought to bring more support to family caregivers and their loved ones, and
- Second class of Super Savers — those who have fought to help Americans retire with confidence.
Every day, 40 million Americans help their older parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home — where they want to be. They provide transportation, cook meals, manage finances, perform complex medical tasks, help with bathing and dressing, and so much more.
A labor of love to be sure, family caregiving can also be a stressful, exhausting and emotional job. That’s why AARP is fighting for commonsense solutions to make these big responsibilities a little bit easier — and we’ve seen real progress in states across the country.
AARP’s 2016 class of Capitol Caregivers includes state elected officials who were integral to the passage of key caregiving legislation this year. The inaugural class of Capitol Caregivers was announced in 2014. This year, AARP recognizes 57 state legislators from 23 states who helped family caregivers by:
- Passing the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act to support family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home
- Expanding nurse scope of practice so they can heal to the full extent of their skills and ability
- Increasing respite services that allow family caregivers to get some relief from their caregiving responsibilities
- Passing a bill to help working caregivers balance responsibilities at home and work
- Passing the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act to ensure specific adult guardianship laws are consistent and honored from state to state
- Passing a bill to update state guardianship laws to better protect vulnerable adults and provide family caregivers and other legal guardians more training and support
- Passing power of attorney legislation to help protect vulnerable adults and provide their caregivers with the tools they need to make important financial decisions
- Passing a bill to break down the barriers that prevent use of telehealth — using digital information and communication technologies, like computers and mobile devices
- Protecting or increasing the number of older adults who have access to state-funded services at home, like home care and adult day care.
Today, 45 percent of working-age households have zero saved for retirement. At AARP, we believe you should retire with confidence. That’s why we’ve been fighting for Work and Save, a convenient way to save for retirement through a simple payroll deduction. Employees who are able to save for retirement out of their regular paychecks are 15 times more likely to save.
AARP’s second class of Super Savers includes state legislators who were integral to the passage of Work and Save plans in 2016. The class includes 13 state legislators from four states who helped their residents save for the future.
More work to do . . .
In 2017, AARP will continue to work with state legislators across the country and fight for the issues that matter to you and your family. To stay up-to-date on our work, or get involved, sign up here.
Nancy LeaMond is AARP chief advocacy and engagement officer. She leads the organization’s Communities, State and National Group, including government relations, advocacy and public education for AARP’s social change agenda. LeaMond also has responsibility for AARP’s state operation, which includes offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
You can follow her on Twitter @NancyLeaMond.