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Care for America’s Caregivers

More than 48 million family caregivers — 1 in 5 voters — help older parents, spouses, grandparents and other loved ones to live independently in their own homes and communities instead of being forced into costly nursing homes. 

Our nation’s dedicated family caregivers together provide $600 billion worth of unpaid labor each year. They help with everything from bathing and dressing to medical tasks, transportation, grocery shopping and preparing meals. And many of the people who do all this unpaid work are also juggling taking care of other family members and maintaining jobs outside the home. Many are forced to reduce their hours or quit the workforce entirely. The physical, emotional and financial toll of family caregiving is enormous. 

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Challenges ahead

Even though family caregivers are critical care providers, they don’t get the recognition or support they deserve, especially from their elected officials. 

It’s time to change that.  

AARP is building a movement to fight for commonsense solutions at the state and federal levels that will save family caregivers time and money — and provide them with more support. Family caregivers are holding up a broken long-term care system and they need help now. There are proposed laws and policies that could give family caregivers time to address their own health and financial security and help them afford the more than $7,200 they spend on average to handle their loved ones’ needs every year.

AARP is fighting to:

Save caregivers’ time: Make providing care — and finding paid care — easier for family caregivers. 

Save caregivers’ money: Alleviate the economic, financial and other challenges directly associated with family caregiving responsibilities.

Support caregivers: Increase and ensure access to support for all family caregivers.

AARP has endorsed four congressional bills that could help make caregivers’ lives just a little bit easier. 

  • Credit for Caring Act, which would provide a new, annual, nonrefundable federal tax credit of up to $5,000 to eligible family caregivers to help address the financial challenges of caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones while remaining in the workforce.
  • Alleviating Barriers for Caregivers (ABC) Act, which would require federal agencies to reduce red tape and improve customer service for family caregivers who help their loved one enroll in and benefit from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
  • Lowering Costs for Caregivers Act, which would allow people to use their pre-tax flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts on medical expenses for their parents.
  • Connecting Caregivers to Medicare Act, which would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote the 1-800-MEDICARE helpline to make it easier for family caregivers to get the information they need to help their loved ones make the most of their Medicare coverage.         

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