AARP volunteers head to the Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday to ask lawmakers for legislation to provide a tax credit for family caregivers and to help workers save for retirement.

“Virginia’s elected officials have a chance to assist family caregivers who spend their own money to keep their loved ones out of nursing homes,” said Jim Dau, AARP Virginia State Director. “These family caregivers are the unrecognized backbone of Virginia’s long-term care system while sacrificing their own financial security; this tax credit is a small measure to help support them.”

Across Virginia, more than 1 million family caregivers assist their parents, spouses, and other loved ones, often so they can remain at home—where they want to be—and out of costly, taxpayer-funded nursing homes. These family caregivers help with bathing, dressing, transportation, and much more—and many also contribute financially to their loved one’s care. These responsibilities can be emotionally, physically, and financially challenging.

Del. Luke Torian (D-Prince William County) is sponsoring legislation which would create a non-refundable credit to help offset the cost of certain qualified expenses by reducing the amount of state income taxes owed.

“The Virginia General Assembly should follow the leadership of Del. Torian in helping family caregivers save some of the money that they otherwise devote to supporting their loved ones,” Dau said.

In 2016, Virginia’s family caregivers provided 956 million hours of unpaid care per year—valued at $11.8 billion annually. In addition, they spent an average of nearly $7,000 – 11,000 per year out of their own pocket.

AARP Virginia also is fighting to put a secure retirement within reach for people who work hard and want to plan for their future.

Volunteer advocates will ask the General Assembly to pass legislation to help workers save for retirement with a Work and Save Plan. Last year, legislators passed a measure to conduct a feasibility study on the issue, which was released in December by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

Del. Torian is sponsoring legislation that would make it easier for workers to save for retirement.

“Work and Save is a common-sense solution that can help more Virginians build their own nest eggs,” said Dau.

With more than 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ and their families in the Commonwealth.  In recent years, AARP Virginia has successfully fought for Medicaid expansion, protections for older people against financial exploitation, and empowering family caregivers.

To learn more about AARP Virginia, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aarpvirginia and follow @AARPVa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aarpva.

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 nation’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.