AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, third from left, is flanked by AARP’s Nancy LeaMond, left, and family caregivers Chris Courington, Marianita Gorman, Tobey Partch-Davies and Don Schierling.
Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system. Today about 40 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States help older parents, spouses, aunts, uncles and other adult loved ones live independently at home — where they want to be. Additionally, about 3.7 million family caregivers provide care to a child under age 18 because of a medical, behavioral or other condition or disability. About 6.5 million family caregivers assist both adults and children. Caregivers help their loved ones while juggling work, raising children and more. Many of them are on call 24/7 and can’t even take a break.
These caregivers have a big job, but some basic support — and commonsense solutions — can help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier. The bicameral, bipartisan Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus, launched March 3, 2015, focuses on bringing greater visibility to family caregivers, the challenges and opportunities that individuals of all ages face as they seek to live independently, and the need for solutions.