In Virginia more than 1 million family caregivers provided an estimated 870 million hours of care — worth a staggering $11.2 billion — to their parents, spouses, partners, and friends in 2017, according to state data available in the latest report of AARP’s Valuing the Invaluable series. The complexity of family caregiving increases as medical and nursing tasks continue to enter the home, and family demographics change amidst an aging population.
“You can’t put a price on the commitment, sacrifice, and support that caregivers provide their loved ones every day, but caregiving does come with a cost,” said Jim Dau, AARP Virginia State Director. “Whether it’s offering a modest income tax credit to help recoup the costs of care, providing paid leave options at work, or even allowing them a few hours of rest from their responsibilities, Virginia can do to help those caregivers who often risk their own health and financial security to support their loved ones.”
AARP is fighting to support family caregivers and the older family and friends who count on them. In 2018, AARP Virginia successfully fought for additional funding for the Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which helps protect older adults in the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities from abuse and neglect.
In 2020, AARP will continue to fight for common-sense solutions to give family caregivers more support, help at home, training and more. Those solutions include:
· Tax Credit: AARP Virginia will ask legislators for a state income tax credit to help offset the financial costs of caregiving.
· Paid Leave: AARP Virginia will support efforts to secure paid leave from work for family caregivers so that they can take care of loved ones without risking their jobs.
The full 2019 “Valuing the Invaluable” report will be available on November 14 and will include national figures, trends in family caregiving, and policy recommendations.
To review state figures and the methodology, visit: www.aarp.org/valuing.
Resources and information on family caregiving, including AARP’s Prepare to Care Guides, are available at www.aarp.org/caregiving.
This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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