Tag Archives: caregiver

About the Family Caregiver Platform Project

The Family Caregiver Platform Project (FCPP) works to get caregiving issues included in as many state party platforms as possible.

The FCPP is a national collaborative effort between major organizations. Together with its national partners, the FCPP encourages nonpartisan grassroots efforts to educate and motivate policymakers to improve state and federal support for family caregivers and older adults. The FCPP works with individual volunteers and organizations to raise awareness of caregiving issues. It doesn’t matter which party you belong to! We care about the issues, not the parties themselves.

During the 2016 political season, many state parties revised their platforms. In 2016 our volunteers made 29 language submissions in 22 states. Language was officially adopted in eight state party platforms, one state party resolution, and two state bipartisan legislative resolutions. Moreover, both Democrats and Republicans included language in their 2016 National Platforms affirming the importance of family caregiving.

During 2017, you can continue to work at the local level to encourage discussion of caregiving issues in your political setting. You can download customizable platform language templates to minimize the effort to prepare submissions to local groups, caucus meetings, city councils, and legislative committees.

To get involved, subscribe to the FCPP update at and read an overview of your state party platform process with key dates. You can send the FCPP an email message at info@caregivercorps.org.

In 2016, the FCPP was supported by a grant from the Lawrence & Rebecca Stern Family Foundation to The Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness (CECAI) at Altarum Institute, which continues to support the effort on a pro bono basis. The project was also made possible through the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, through the generous support of The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Why Political Platforms Matter

Adopting better policies in state party platforms can be a first step in creating a positive policy climate nationally. A platform is a declaration of where a party stands on issues. Not all parties adopt a state platform. Some adopt party resolutions that are statements of policy, not “platforms,” but that help guide legislative initiatives within the state. Whatever the parties call them, these statements of values are important guidance mechanisms for political action within a state.

Eventually, aging people need improved federal aging policies, not just state-by-state advances. There is a relationship between state and federal policy in which some improvements will be demonstrated first at the state level, and later disseminated nationally. In other cases, federal rule changes will affect caregiving options across many states.

About Caregiving

As millions of us embrace the gift of longer lives in the 21st century, our communities will increasingly need to support their elderly residents so that these residents can age in place and live in dignity. Seven out of 10 of us will need assistance from another person. We will need help with simple activities such as eating, bathing, and moving from place to place. That’s why we need a community that cares.

Unless we act to make home caregiving more feasible for more people, professional care will be the only alternative. Institutional care comes at a high cost, often supported by taxes. Few people would choose institutional care if home care were possible. Allowing people to remain at home for as long as feasible is both more compassionate and more cost-effective.

There are many kinds of families and community needs. Recognizing diversity is important to all of us. The FCPP uses the word “family” to mean all those who are bound to the person who is ill or disabled by friendship, relationship, or law. There are also many ways to improve the lives of caregivers. Options for action vary by state and community.

2015 Submissions

The FCPP had a busy year in 2015. Many volunteers helped to submit language proposals in 2015. Volunteers found that the process was easy and fun. Most parties welcome participation by people within their state and are quite grateful for suggestions.

● The FCPP submitted language to the National Republican Party via the party website in December 2015, with the help of caregiver advocates in New York and Illinois.
● The Arizona Democratic Party received a platform submission in August 2015 and a resolution proposal shortly thereafter.
● The Arkansas Republican Party received a platform submission in December 2015.
● The California Democratic Party received platform submissions in October and November 2015.
● The California Republican Party received a platform submission in September 2015 but subsequently adopted its 2016 platform without including language relating to caregivers.
● The Georgia Democratic Party received a platform submission in December 2015.
● The Maine Democratic Party received a platform submission in December 2015.
● The New Mexico Republican Party received a platform submission in December 2015.
● The Oregon Democratic Party received a platform submission in December 2015.
● The Vermont Democratic Party received a platform submission in October 2015.

Want to Know More?

  • Visit the Family Caregiver Platform Project website at caregivercorps.org.
  • Send an email message to info@caregivercorps.org to learn more about how to get involved.

Time for Family Caregivers to Be Eldercare Activists

The Family Caregiver Platform Project (FCPP) has a number of national partner organizations that provide valuable support for caregivers and care recipients. Our partners are teaming up with us because they share our vision of making caregiver issues part of political discussions throughout the 2016 election cycle. The FCPP helps leverage the work of our partner organizations who are engaged in creating meaningful change through grassroots political actions. Members of our partner organizations are working actively in their states to make this effort a success.

One of our partners is Caring Across Generations, a national campaign that has helped build a coalition of more than 200 organizations advocating for innovation in long-term care. Its co-director, Ai-Jen Poo, believes that as our nation’s aging population soars, new outlooks on aging and caregiving are needed. She’s convinced we are at a moment where the American people will lead a cultural shift to demand better care for our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly. In an interview in PBS’ Next Avenue, she described baby boomers as “a culture-driving, culture-changing generation.” She expects them to be involved decisively in driving caregiving policy change. But they cannot do it alone. Caring Across is mobilizing family members of all ages to lead the charge in making caregiving a national public policy priority. As Ai-Jen says, “It should be something that every candidate in next year’s presidential election cycle will have to answer for.”

The FCPP website, caregivercorps.org, provides a roadmap for anyone who wants to make their voice heard in their state political party. The FCPP provides model language that is a starting point for submission in your state. It also provides timelines for political party activities, and outlines ways to engage policymakers at the local level. Volunteers in California and Arizona have already succeeded in raising political awareness about family caregiving. You can do the same in your state.

This is a vital movement you can join now. The work we are doing will accelerate in 2016, as more state party platform committees convene to discuss what language will be included in their party statements about key issues.

Caregiving in the United States 2015 Report

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 is a joint research study between the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP providing new insights into higher-hour caregivers (at least 21 hours of care a week), caregivers ages 75 and older, multicultural caregivers (including African American/black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American/Pacific Islander populations), and the challenges facing caregivers in the workplace.

You can download the report at: caregiving.org/caregiving2015

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 provides surprising insight into today’s family caregivers. The typical higher-hour caregiver (who provides unpaid care for at least 21 hours a week) has been caregiving for an average of 5-1/2 years and expects to continue care for another 5 years. Nearly half of these higher-hour caregivers report high emotional stress (46 percent).

Also surprising are findings from subpopulations of caregivers. Today, nearly a quarter of America’s caregivers are millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 and are equally likely to be male or female. On the other end of the spectrum, caregivers ages 75 or older are typically the sole support for their loved one, providing care without paid help or help from relatives and friends. Men, a group often stereotyped as failing to take on caregiving responsibilities, currently represent 40 percent of family caregivers and provide an average of 23 hours a week supporting a loved one.

“As previous AARP research has shown, we’re facing a caregiving cliff,” said Dr. Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director, AARP Public Policy Institute; and chief strategist, Center to Champion Nursing in America. “By mid-century, there will be only three family caregivers available for each person requiring care. That means, to avoid putting them at higher risk as they age, we need to provide support for existing caregivers who are underserved by the current long-term services and support system.”

Designing the Maine CARE Act

AARP Maine is working with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors to create L.D. 666, the Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act. Under this act, hospitals will record the names of caregivers of a patient to instruct caregivers on proper care instructions for their patient, inform caregivers when the patient it discharged from the hospital, and help ease the care transition process. This legislation would help protect patients from re-admittance to hospitals, and guide family caregivers through nursing tasks with ease. With nearly 200,000 family caregivers in Maine, the CARE Act will educate family members and protect patients during care transitions.

To read the full article from centralmaine.com, please click here: http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/04/01/l-d-666-gives-direct-support-to-family-caregivers/

California In-Home Caregivers Get Tax Break

California’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS) pays caregivers for caring for low income elderly patients, allowing the elderly to stay in their private homes and out of nursing homes. Now, caregivers that live in the homes of their patients will not be taxed on their incomes. The IRS applies this rule to all state Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services waiver programs, including California’s IHSS. However, the caregivers often have incomes that are so low, that they need their incomes to be taxable in order to claim the income tax credit. The rule is the same for paid caregiving relatives that live in the home.

For the full article, please visit the San Francisco Chronicle website: http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Little-known-tax-break-for-in-home-caregivers-6126375.php