Clackamas, OR – To recognize their integral work to support family caregivers in Oregon, AARP names Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Sen. Jackie Winters, Sen. Richard Devlin, Sen. Tim Knopp, Rep. Nancy Nathanson, Rep. Dan Rayfield, and Rep. Greg Smith as 2017 “Capitol Caregivers,” a bipartisan group of nearly 100 elected officials from more than 30 states. These leaders have advanced policies to support Oregon’s family caregivers, who help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home and in the community—where they want to be.
“AARP thanks Senators Steiner Hayward, Winters, Devlin and Knopp, and Representatives Nathanson, Rayfield and Smith for championing the preservation of funding for long term supports and services that help to keep Oregonians in their own homes this year,” says Jerry Cohen, state director of AARP, which serves more than 510,000 members age 50 and older in Oregon. “They provided key leadership to pass a budget this year that does not cut critical services for older Oregonians and help make the big responsibilities of family caregivers in Oregon a little bit easier.”
The state budget passed during the 2017 legislative session contained no cuts to programs like Oregon Project Independence, which provides basic help to older families to help keep people in their own homes. The budget also protected funding for family caregiver training programs and the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon (ADRC) that helps people find appropriate care, supports, and resources.
Across Oregon, about 470,00 Oregonians provide unpaid care for their older parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities, and other loved ones— valued at about $5.7 billion annually. They help with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, managing finances, transportation, grocery shopping and more.
“Family caregivers provide invaluable care to their loved ones,” says Cohen. “And they need our support.”
AARP Oregon will present the Capitol Caregiver awards to these legislators during January legislative days at the State Capitol in Salem.
“Funding long term supports and services is just a first step to providing a little bit of help for family caregivers,” says Cohen. “AARP will continue to fight for Oregon’s family caregivers and their loved ones in 2018: for more support, help at home, workplace flexibility, training, relief and more.
- AARP’s I Heart Caregivers Initiative
- AARP Caregiving Resource Center
- Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care (October 2012)
- Caregiving in the US: 2015 Report
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.