In addition to advocating for older Americans in the halls of Congress, AARP staff and volunteers are working on the ground in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to make a difference in people’s lives through advocacy. This year, we have helped enact state policies to support more than 30 million family caregivers.
Achieving these results took a lot of hard work and dedication from state legislators, governors and other elected officials. They worked together – often across party lines – to write, support, and advance commonsense policies that make people’s day-to-day lives a little bit easier.
To recognize these elected leaders, AARP is proud to announce our fourth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers who fought to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones.
Every day, 40 million Americans help parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home, where they want to be. Family caregiving is a labor of love, to be sure, but it can also be a challenge. Care responsibilities can include providing transportation, cooking meals, managing finances, performing complex medical tasks, helping with bathing and dressing, and so much more. Sixty percent of family caregivers juggle full- or part-time jobs with their caregiving duties, and many are still raising their families.
AARP is fighting for commonsense solutions to make these big responsibilities a little bit easier—and we’ve seen real progress in states across the country.
AARP’s 2017 class of Capitol Caregivers recognizes 91 state legislators, five governors, one lieutenant governor, and one justice from more than 30 states, who advanced policies that:
- Support family caregivers when their loved ones are admitted to the hospital and as they transition home
- Expand nurse scope of practice so they can heal to the full extent of their skills and ability
- Allow nurses to delegate and transfer authority to trained home care professionals in regular direct contact with patients
- Increase respite services that allow family caregivers to get some relief from their caregiving responsibilities
- Help working caregivers to balance responsibilities at home and work with workplace flexibility and paid and unpaid leave policies
- Update state guardianship laws to better protect vulnerable adults and provide family caregivers and other legal guardians more training and support
- Help protect vulnerable adults and provide their caregivers with the tools they need to make important financial decisions through power of attorney laws
- Break down the barriers that prevent use of telehealth — using digital information and communication technologies, like computers and mobile devices
- Protect or increases the number of older adults who have access to state-funded services at home, like home care and adult day care
More work to do
In 2018, AARP will continue to work with elected state leaders across the country to fight for the issues that matter to you and your families. To stay up-to-date on our progress, or get involved, sign up here.