In a rare demonstration of bipartisan unity, several members of Congress met in Washington, D.C., Thursday to speak with one voice on the challenges of family caregiving.
“If there is one issue that has the power to unite us across parties and ideologies, across age, income and gender, it’s family caregiving,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. The event, “The Cost of Caring: Family Caregivers and Tax Reform,” was convened by the Hill newspaper and sponsored by AARP.
“At kitchen tables across America,” LeaMond said, “real families are confronting the same question: How will we care for Mom or Dad, or another loved one, if something happens and they can’t care for themselves?”
Some 40 million family caregivers are answering that question for themselves every day. One-quarter of family caregivers are millennials ; almost 1 in 10 are age 75 or over; 4 in 10 are male; and 61 percent are employed.
Many of them risk their own health and financial security to assist their parents. According to an AARP Research study, last year family caregivers spent an average of $7,000 — about 20 percent of their income — caring for their loved ones.
“That is why AARP is supporting the Credit for Caring Act,” LeaMond said. The bill would create a tax credit of up to $3,000 for eligible working family caregivers who spend at least $2,000 on care-related expenses.
The panel featured supporters of the bill, including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Reps. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.). They talked about their own experiences, painting a moving portrait of the financial, emotional and physical burdens family caregivers face.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.): Let's Work Together for Caregivers
Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY): Providing Caregivers wirth the Tools They Need
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY): Tax Credits Bring Much Needed Much Relief
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.): Helping Caregivers Provide an Invaulable Sevice to Those In Need
All content was first published on The Hill