The Family Caregiver Platform Project submitted several platform planks to the Virginia Democratic Party Platform Committee to be considered for the 2016 Virginia Democratic Party Platform. The final submission is presented below. The Virginia Democratic Party asked for a submission in Resolution form to consider at their December 2016 meeting. The Family Caregiver Platform Project submitted one in the third week on October 2016, which included the pertinent section from the National Democratic Platform.
Democratic Party of Virginia Headquarters
919 East Main Street Suite 2050
Richmond, VA 23219
Key dates for Virginia Democrats
- The Democratic Primary took place on March 1, 2016.
- City and county caucuses took place on April 16 and 18, 2016 and elected delegates to the District Conventions.
- District Conventions took place on May 7, 14, and 21, 2016.
- The State Convention took place on June 18, 2016 in Richmond.
Final Family Caregiver Platform Project Submission
1) Fiscal Responsibility
- Our state must show fiscal responsibility in response to an expected increase in the need for caregiving. The financial consequences of an aging population threaten to overwhelm both state and family budgets.
- Both the state and individual counties should analyze their population demographic trends to determine both current and future service requirements for care recipients and caregivers, and understand the financial implications of coming demands.
2) Family-friendly Business Practices
- Our party recognizes the important role that businesses play in providing assistance to employees that are caring for an elderly family member.
- As appropriate, we support compensation of that value through tax credits or other means when firms provide or underwrite adult day care services or other supportive services.
- We encourage employers to establish policies that recognize the impact that caregiving can have on workers, and encourage employers to find ways to support their workers during difficult family times.
3) Create Communities That Care
- Home family caregivers must be able to get training and additional help when they need it. For example, at the time of hospital discharge, the home family caregiving needs of the patient could be discussed with caregivers and arrangements could be made for caregiver training.
4) Expand the availability of respite care services.
- Explore the use of volunteer respite providers through a variety of sources, including faith-based groups, nursing programs, and community organizations.
5) Increase awareness of caregiving as a health risk factor that warrants attention as a Public Health issue, and encourage health professionals to acknowledge and address that issue.
- We support the use of home caregiving technology that enables elders to receive care in their own homes while lowering the cost of that care. Remote technology can benefit anyone and has special benefits for rural caregivers. Adoption of remote technology may require giving healthcare providers more flexibility in choosing their preferred methods of care.
6) Encourage the creation of volunteer “Caregiver Corps” to provide non-medical assistance and companionship to frail elders.
- Programs like these can be set up at little or no cost with no need for government involvement. Caregiving committees can be sponsored by faith-based organizations, private companies, non-profit organizations, and local communities. Every American should serve his or her country. Volunteer caregiving is as valid a means of service as any other.