Access to high-quality care for older Americans and support for family caregivers, long-term care workers, early educators and veterans will be improved under an executive order President Joe Biden signed on April 18. AARP has long called for increased support for family caregivers and workers.
In a White House Rose Garden ceremony, the president called the order the “most comprehensive set of actions any administration has taken to date” on care issues. Biden said that with almost every federal agency involved, they will collectively take “over 50 actions to provide more peace of mind for families, and dignity for care workers, who deserve jobs with good pay and good benefits.”
According to a recent AARP report, the care Americans provide to their family and friends totals an estimated $600 billion in unpaid labor per year.
“AARP applauds today’s Executive Order recognizing the need to make family caregivers a national priority to meet the rapidly growing needs of families across America,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, said in a statement.
“Today’s Executive Order is an important step forward, building on the first-ever National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers released last fall, the result of years of bipartisan effort in Congress,” LeaMond added. “We stand ready to work with the Administration to advance the important policies to support family caregivers and the long-term workforce. We will continue to work with bipartisan leaders in Congress to advance legislation that can further deliver relief to family caregivers such as paid leave, family caregiver tax credits and other reimbursement programs, and other supports.”
Angie and Phil Roman of Pennsylvania said they were honored to be at the White House. They joined an audience of caregivers, workers and advocates invited to witness the signing of the executive order.
The couple tirelessly advocated for and provided care to both sets of their parents for seven years, an endeavor that impacted “literally every member of the family,” Angie Roman said. She acknowledged that being able to have her loved ones age in place in a home setting among their family was priceless. “When we started caregiving [my husband] said, ‘I don't think we can do this. I don't think I can do this.’ And when it ended, he said, ‘I'm glad we were able to do this.’”