Wisconsin's Family Caregivers Deserve Our Support

Posted on 11/03/22

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We often refer to family caregivers as Wisconsin’s unsung heroes, flying under the radar for little or no money while providing vital care that allows their loved ones to continue living in their homes and communities as long as possible.

In fact, did you know that Wisconsin’s 578,000-plus family caregivers provide about 538 million hours of care to their parents, spouses, partners, and others every year? In addition, they spend an average of $7,000 per year on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving.

These caregivers put in long hours helping loved ones with tasks such as giving baths, dispensing medications, preparing meals, paying bills, and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments.

For years we at AARP Wisconsin have been focused on finding ways to provide some relief for these folks, and we’re excited to talk to Wisconsin’s new new state legislators about how to take that first step.

In the past, a group of bipartisan state legislators had introduced a bill that would create caregiver tax credit specifically to help caregivers offset some of the personal expenses they incur while providing care for loved ones. This bill never made it to the governor’s desk, but we are confident that the new legislature will see this as a priority Wisconsin once their session begins in January.

Our hope is that the governor will include funds for the tax credit in his proposed biennial state budget, and members of the state’s Joint Committee on Finance will listen at their budget hearings to the comments from an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites who believe this group of heroes deserves more support.

We at AARP support legislation that would create a nonrefundable individual income tax credit for certain expenses incurred by a family caregiver to assist a qualified family member. We believe this bill is long overdue and we will do everything in our capacity to help advance it through the legislative process and into law.

But we will need your help to make that happen. Once the new state legislative session begins in early 2023, we will be asking all of you to please contact your state Representative and state Senator and urge them to support the caregiver tax credit bill.

With thousands of Baby Boomers retiring each day and fewer home health care workers available to take care of them, AARP believes that making small investments in caregivers now will lead to big savings for Wisconsin and much better care for families down the road.

We hope you agree with us that it’s time Wisconsin steps up our game and does more to assist these heroes throughout the state. We hope lawmakers will clearly understand that this tax credit is an important first step to providing this critical support.

If you are a family caregiver in need of additional resources and support, we urge you to check out our Wisconsin Family Caregiver Resource guide, which has valuable information that might help you out. Here is the link to the guide: https://states.aarp.org/wisconsin/caregiver-resources

This story is provided by AARP Wisconsin. Visit the AARP Wisconsin page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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