All posts by Elizabeth Rolf

Elizabeth is an Elder Care Intern for the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness while studying as an undergraduate Health Administration and Policy student at George Mason University.

Family Caregiving Enters Presidential Campaign

A presidential candidate has proposed a policy recommendation to support caregivers. Pledging to invest in the “caring economy,” Hillary Clinton proposed a new tax credit and Social Security earning credits for those who care for aging parents and grandparents. We expect that more presidential candidates will discuss family caregiving issues as the campaign season heats up.

The Democratic presidential candidate touted her latest proposal at a town hall-style meeting in this Mississippi River city about 200 miles east of Des Moines. She is seeking a tax credit to help offset up to $6,000 in caregiving costs for elderly family members. The credit would apply to 20% of those expenses for a maximum tax bill savings of $1,200. She wants people to be able to earn credits toward their monthly Social Security retirement benefits during the time they drop out of the workforce to care for elderly relatives.

A Next Avenue piece on this story mentions the Family Caregiver Platform Project with a link under the subhead “Boosting Caregivers Social Security Benefits”. It’s a good report that gives other Democratic and Republican views. We’re also mentioned at the end of the article under “How to Motivate the Candidates”.

Read the full story at: http://www.nextavenue.org/how-hillary-clinton-wants-to-help-family-caregivers/

LA Times coverage: http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/la-na-hillary-clinton-taxes-20151123-story.html

Why Advocates are Trying to Push Caregiving onto the 2016 Presidential Agenda

Caregiving is becoming an important topic for the nation to pay attention to, and it is great that the Washington Post is shining the light on family caregiver needs. On October 20, the Washington Post ran an article explaining why caregiving discussions should be on the 2016 presidential agenda. Our Family Caregiver Platform Project and other state representatives and organizations were mentioned for their efforts to introduce legislature on family caregivers. Most presidential candidates have stayed silent about caregivers, but the article listed other organizations that are advocating for family caregiver needs, training, and supports. Presidential candidates should become aware of caregiver needs, speak out on the behalf of these issues, and initiate political action as the election day draws closer.

The link to the full Washington Post article by Tara Bahrampour can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/caregiving-gets-political-as-organizers-push-issue-onto-local-national-agendas/2015/10/20/479fee44-72aa-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html

State Alzheimer’s Disease Plans

The Alzheimer’s Association has put together a detailed list of recommendations for Alzheimer’s caregivers. The document includes supports for caregivers in each state, along with each states’ plans to increase education and encourage families to participate in training programs to care for Alzheimer’s patients. All caregivers should have access to services that protect the safety of the patient and work to ensure caregivers are properly trained.

The detailed list can be found on the Alzheimer’s Association website here: http://act.alz.org/site/DocServer/CAREGIVERS.pdf?docID=4644.

PBS: Caring for Mom and Dad

“Caring for Mom and Dad” tells the important story of caregivers of dementia patients, and PBS does a god job raising the difficult questions caregivers face every day. The hour-long special covers the challenges adult children face caring for their aging parents, including raising young children, caring for dementia patients in their homes, and the frustrations and challenges of caregiver support. The episode calls for local communities to raise the bar to meet the challenges of family caregivers.

“Caring for Mom and Dad” can be viewed on the PBS website, and it is wonderfully narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. PBS also shows short clips of caregiver profiles, interviews with caregiving experts, and helpful resources.

To watch “Caring for Mom and Dad” please follow this link to the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/caringformomanddad/watch/

Too Many Doctors, Not Enough Care

In a story from The Washington Post, a geriatrician acts as a neighbor, and helps an elderly woman climb flights of stairs to her apartment. During the hour-long climb, the geriatrician learns about the woman’s multiple chronic conditions and lack of coordinated care. Quality medical care is easy to find in the United States, but care coordination is not. Read how the geriatrician helps her neighbor stay comfortably in her home and voice her wishes to her providers.

To read the full article, please follow this link to The Washington Post website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-medical-system-may-treat-you-well-but-less-so-after-you-reach-age-80/2015/04/06/466d9dce-b79c-11e4-aa05-1ce812b3fdd2_story.html