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Possible Help For Family Pennsylvania Caregivers

The care that millions of Americans count on to stay healthy and live independently is delivered by family members, friends and neighbors. They may not even describe themselves as caregivers. But they are indispensible. And they form the foundation of our health care system. Family caregivers provide nearly 80 percent of the long-term care services that allow countless Americans to remain safely in their homes and communities.

See Also: If you are caring for a loved one, you might be eligible for compensation

Caregivers fit varied profiles in Pennsylvania. Many caregivers are employed or on fixed incomes and struggle to meet the demands of their day-to-day responsibilities while providing their loved ones’ needed care.

AARP Pennsylvania needs your help convincing state lawmakers to approve long-overdue assistance for millions of families caring for older adults at home.

The Family Caregiver Support Program is a cost effective program that enables families to receive some financial, emotional and physical relief. Services provided under the program may include care management, respite care, financial reimbursements for home modifications, and others.

Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Act of 1990 served as the model for the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which was established in 2000. Unlike Pennsylvania’s program, the federal government permits non-relative caregivers to participate and does not require that caregivers reside with care recipients.

Legislation recently passed by the House Aging and Adult Services Committee and the Senate Aging and Youth Committee would provide for the first-ever upgrades to Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Program.

The Family Caregiver Support Program has not seen an increase in the monthly maximum allowance of $200 or the lifetime home modification maximum allowance of $2,000 since the program’s inception.

House Bill 210 and Senate Bill 639 amend the existing law by raising monthly reimbursement rates and the lifetime home modification allowances. The bills also expand the definition of “primary caregiver” to include non-traditional caregiver arrangements, better reflecting today’s reality of extended family & long-distance care giving.

The bills require no new spending. In fact, the changes will actually help ensure all the money already budgeted is spent. Passing the legislation before adjourning for the summer recess also allows lawmakers to help seniors and their families without impacting the state budget at all.

Please call 1-800-515-8134 today and ask your State Senator to support Senate Bill 693 and ask your State Representative to vote for House Bill 210 when those bills come to the floor for a vote.

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