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AARP Names Inaugural Class of Capitol Caregivers

More than 42 million Americans give their hearts as family caregivers every day. They work tirelessly, helping aging parents, spouses, aunts, uncles and other loved ones with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, complicated medical tasks, managing finances, transportation, grocery shopping and more.

“Caregiving is one of the rare issues that crosses geographic and political lines,” says AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “This isn’t a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a family issue.”

To recognize state elected officials who stepped up to support caregivers this year, AARP has named an inaugural bipartisan class of “Capitol Caregivers.” This group of 46 state legislators and three governors from 19 states was integral to passing legislation in 2014 to give family caregivers and their loved ones a little bit of help, including:

The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act: To help family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital, requiring hospitals to record caregivers’ names in patients’ medical records, notify caregivers before patients are discharged, and instruct caregivers on any medical tasks they will need to perform once loved ones return home.

  • Caregiving Task Forces: To study the needs of family caregivers and make sure they have access to the right resources in the community, such as home care and day care.
  • Nursing Scope of Practice/Delegation: To cut through the red tape and allow advanced practice registered nurses to have the full authority to heal — especially important for older patients who receive care at home.
  • Workplace Flexibility: To help family caregivers so they don’t have to worry about losing their pay — or their jobs — when they have to take time off from work to bring their older loved ones to doctors’ appointments.
  • Uniform Guardianship/Power of Attorney: To help family caregivers navigate financial challenges by making sure power of attorney and guardianship laws are consistent and honored from state to state.


AARP thanks the following legislators for their leadership in supporting family caregivers in helping their loved ones live independently, with dignity, at home.  

California

  • State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Uniform Guardianship (SB 940)
  • Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Caregiving Task Force (AB 1744)
  • Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, Caregiving Task Force (AB 1744)

Connecticut

  • Gov. Dannel Malloy, Nursing Scope of Practice (SB 36)
  • State Sen. Terry B. Gerratana, Nursing Scope of Practice (SB 36)
  • State Rep. Theresa W. Conroy, Nursing Scope of Practice (SB 36)
  • State Rep. Jason Perillo, Nursing Scope of Practice (SB 36)

Delaware

  • State Rep. Valerie J. Longhurst, Caregiving Task Force (HCR 57)

Hawaii

  • State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, Caregiving Task Force, Uniform Power of Attorney (HCR 78, SB 2229 )
  • State Sen. Rosalyn Baker, Uniform Power of Attorney (SB 2229)

Indiana

  • State Sen. Vaneta Becker, Caregiving Task Force (SB 44)
  • State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, Caregiving Task Force (SB 44)
  • State Rep. Edward Clere, Caregiving Task Force (SB 44)
  • State Sen. Patricia Miller, Caregiving Task Force (SB 44)

Iowa

  • State Sen. Robert Hogg, Uniform Power of Attorney (SF 2168)
  • State Rep. Chip Baltimore, Uniform Power of Attorney (SF 2168)

Kentucky

  • State Sen. Morgan McGarvey, Nursing Scope of Practice, Caregiving Task Force (SB 7, SCR 102)
  • State Sen. Reginald Thomas, Nursing Scope of Practice (SB 7)
  • State Rep. Joni L. Jenkins, Caregiving Task Force (SCR 102)
  • State Rep. Tommy Thompson, Caregiving Task Force (HCR 20)

Louisiana

  • State Rep. Robert A. Johnson, Nursing Scope of Practice (HR 199)

Massachusetts

  • State Sen. Gale D. Candaras, Uniform Guardianship (SB 2165)
  • State Rep. Anne M. Gobi, Uniform Guardianship (HB 2165)
  • State Rep. Christopher M. Markey, Uniform Guardianship (HB 2165)
  • State Rep. James O’Day, Uniform Guardianship (HB 2165)

Minnesota

  • State Sen. Sandra L. Pappas, Workplace Flexibility (SF 2050)
  • State Sen. Kathy Sheran, Nursing Scope of Practice (SF 511)
  • State Rep. Carly Melin, Workplace Flexibility (HF 2536)
  • State Rep. Dan Schoen, Nursing Scope of Practice (HF 435)

Mississippi

  • State Sen. Terry C. Burton, Caregiving Task Force (SCR 561)
  • State Sen. Briggs Hopson, Uniform Guardianship (SB 2240)
  • State Rep. Mark Baker, Uniform Guardianship (HB 2165)
  • State Rep. Bobby Moak, Uniform Guardianship (HB 2165)

Nebraska

  • State Sen. Kate Bolz, Caregiving Task Force (LB 690)
  • State Sen. Sue Crawford, Nursing Scope of Practice (LB 916)

New Jersey

  • State Sen. Robert W. Singer, CARE Act (S 2127)
  • State Sen. Joseph F. Vitale, CARE Act (S 2127)
  • Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, CARE Act (A 2955)
  • Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz, CARE Act (A 2955)

New Mexico

  • State Sen. Michael Padilla, Caregiving Task Force (HJM 4)
  • State Rep. Tomás Salazar, Caregiving Task Force (HJM 4)

Ohio

  • Gov. John Kasich, Caregiving Task Force (Governor’s Joint Workforce with AARP) 

Oklahoma

  • Gov. Mary Fallin, CARE Act (SB 1536)
  • State Sen. Brian A. Crain, CARE Act (SB 1536)
  • State Rep. Harold Wright, CARE Act (SB 1536)

South Carolina

  • State Sen. Thomas Alexander, Guardianship (SB 764)

Utah

  • State Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Caregiving Task Force (HJR 14)
  • State Sen. Brian Shiozawa, Caregiving Task Force (HJR 14)

West Virginia

  • Del. Barbara Evans Fleischauer, Nursing Delegation (HB 4287)

These pieces of legislation are just a first step to making big responsibilities a little bit easier for family caregivers. AARP will continue to fight for family caregivers and their loved ones in 2015: more support, help at home, workplace flexibility, training and more.

To also recognize America’s silent army of family caregivers, AARP recently launched a new initiative, “I Heart Caregivers,” to spotlight the stories of these unsung heroes and the great labor of love they perform every day.

Visit aarp.org/iheartcaregivers.

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