Tag Archives: party platforms

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.

Iowans Want Services for Unpaid Caregivers

The 2015 survey conducted by AARP shows that most people over the age of 45 across the state are in support of helping unpaid family caregivers. Of over 380,000 registered voters in the survey, most support naming family caregivers on medical records, and teaching the family caregivers simple medical procedures that could be done in the home. Results from the survey showed that Iowans realize that they are family caregivers, or will be in the future, and Iowans recognize the need to support unpaid caregivers in their communities.

To see the full article from the Quad City Times, please follow this link: http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/aarp-survey-reveals-an-unpaid-caregivers-a-silent-army-in/article_5a776b47-e6dd-5d3a-aa9c-fdd52b2a9277.html

To read the full survey from AARP, please click here: http://states.aarp.org/new-survey-shows-large-majority-of-likely-iowa-voters-45-support-measures-to-help-family-caregivers/

Get Family Caregiving Into Your State Party Platform

ANN ARBOR, MI— The Family Caregiving Platform Project has launched a national campaign to get family caregiving issues included in state political party platforms across the United States. The nonpartisan project reaches out to individual volunteers and organizations to raise awareness of caregiving issues.

A new website, CaregiverCorps.org, will coordinate grassroots efforts to educate and motivate state and national policymakers to improve support for family caregivers and the frail elderly Americans for whom they selflessly provide support. CaregiverCorps.org outlines policy platform ideas that individuals and groups can bring to government and community organizations at a local level.

Sixty-five million Americans provide care for someone whom they love who is elderly, ill, or disabled. This number will grow as the nation ages. At the same time, the pool of potential caregivers will shrink, creating a significant care gap.

Victoria Walker, MD, Chief Medical and Quality Officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, said, “State political parties will be meeting and discussing their values and priorities leading up to the 2016 election. We want to encourage family caregiver support issues to be included in these discussions and on as many state party policy platforms as possible. These issues are important to American families of all political philosophies. We believe everyone should be able to contribute policy suggestions to improve the lives of caregivers.”

Anne Montgomery, Senior Policy Analyst at Altarum Institute, has taken the issue of the care gap to both the Senate and the House of Representatives. “Family caregivers are liked on both sides of the aisle, but families can’t do it alone,” she noted. “Neither can federal or state governments. We need a third level of activity: community activism.”

Helping caregivers helps the nation. Greater support from caring community members can help families keep their elders at home, saving millions of dollars in state and federal spending while giving older adults what they want most. With a little more organized help from better-targeted programs, more family caregivers could keep their jobs and contribute to the country’s economic prosperity. Family caregivers who selflessly volunteer their help are “local heroes” in our communities. By joining the Family Caregiving Platform Project, you can help to recognize and validate their contribution.
There are many ways to improve the lives of caregivers. Options for action vary by state and community. There are many kinds of families and community needs. Recognizing diversity is important to all of us.

The Family Caregiver Platform Project is supported by a grant from the Stern Family Foundation to the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness at Altarum. The project is also made possible through the Health and Aging Policy Fellows program, through the generous support of Atlantic Philanthropies and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Program Contact:
Elizabeth Blair
(202)-776-5107
elizabeth.blair@altarum.org

The Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness (CECAI) works on policy, economics, public education, community demonstrations, and other fronts related to serious chronic illness and frailty due to advancing age. CECAI is directed by Joanne Lynn, MD. CECAI is sponsored by Altarum Institute, a nonprofit research and consulting organization. For more information, visit www.medicaring.org.

Altarum Institute (www.altarum.org) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. Altarum employs more than 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, with additional offices in the Washington, D.C., area; Portland, Maine; and San Antonio, Texas.