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Fighting for Family Caregivers

Every day, about 40 million Americans perform a great labor of love: caring for parents, spouses, adult children with disabilities, friends and other loved ones so they can remain in their homes — where they want to be. They manage medications, provide transportation, prepare meals, handle finances, perform complex medical tasks and much more.

Family caregivers have a big job but we can help with some basic support — and commonsense solutions — to make their big responsibilities a little bit easier.

In 2014, AARP launched a new campaign, to support caregivers with help at home, workplace protections, training and more. Working with governors, state legislators, other policymakers and community partners, we’re fighting to advance policy options that will help family caregivers — and the loved ones for whom they care. Here are some of the ways how:

The CARE Act: The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act supports family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.

Financial Caregiving: Bills to help family caregivers navigate financial challenges.

Home- and Community-Based Care: Significantly increasing — or protecting against significant decreases in — the number of older adults who have access to state-funded services at home, like home care and adult day care.

Nurse Scope & Delegation: Bills to cut through the red tape and allow nurses to have the full authority to heal.

  • Increased scope of practice allows advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to serve as the primary or acute care provider of record.
  • Nurse delegation allows nurses to delegate certain tasks and transfer authority to trained home care professionals in regular direct contact with patients.

Registry of Home Care Workers: Bills and regulations to allow family caregivers access to private-pay workers who can help provide care in the home.

Respite Care: Significantly increasing services that allow family caregivers to take a hard earned break.

Workplace Flexibility: Various bills to help working caregivers balance responsibilities at home and work. Flexibility may come through state improvements to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or through employers’ paid and/or unpaid leave policies.

Where does your state stand?

2016 State Activity Map

Click to view larger image — AARP

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

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