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Brooklyn Caregiving Crisis: 82% of Brooklyn Residents Say Caregiver Support Should be Priority for NYC Officials


August 14, 2013

Contacts:  Chaunda Ball, 917-859-0029,

Brooklyn Caregiving Crisis:  82% of Brooklyn Residents Say Caregiver Support Should be Priority for NYC Officials

 A s New York City’s population rapidly ages, support for the state’s 4.1 million informal family caregivers who deliver the bulk of long-term care in the state is becoming increasingly important.  Currently, there are 1 million people over 65 living in NYC, and by 2030 this number is expected to increase by 50% -- the most rapid increase in history.   In a new survey presented at a Caregiving Listening Session in Brooklyn Heights, AARP found that Brooklyn registered voters age 50 and over overwhelmingly support additional resources and policies to assist caregivers, and many are experiencing personal strain from their caregiving roles.                                                                     

Unpaid, informal family caregivers play a vital role in the delivery of long-term care in New York State.  An estimated 4.1 million caregivers in New York provide 2.68 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $32 billion annually.   

In comparison with other states, a 2011 report ranked New York State 48th out of 50 states for its support of family caregivers.  The State’s overall ranking for its long-term care services and supports was 41st out of 50.  

The report’s findings were part of the discussion at a gathering of caregivers, community leaders, and local business leaders in Brooklyn Heights for a Caregiver Listening Session hosted by AARP New York , the New York State Caregiving & Respite Coalition , and the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City, Inc.   At the session, participants discussed the challenges facing family caregivers and examined state and local policy that could assist their efforts.  The Brooklyn event is one of nine listening sessions being held across New York.    

“By keeping loved ones out of costly taxpayer funded institutional settings, New York’s unpaid caregivers save the state money and allow people to remain in their home as they age,” said Neal Lane, AARP New York State President.  “Simply put, investing in caregivers is a wise investment.  Through these caregiver listening sessions we want to hear directly from caregivers to help formulate policy that will help improve their lives and sustain them in the important roles they play.”   

Key findings of the survey include:  

  • 40% of Brooklyn residents have provided care to an adult relative, friend or spouse in the last 5 years. 
  •  82% indicated that strengthening laws and regulations and funding services that support caregivers should be a priority for New York City elected officials.  54% said this should be a top priority, and 28% said it should be a high priority.  
  • 58% indicated that caregiving puts a strain on their quality of life, including financial hardship, emotional stress, and stress at work. 30% indicated overwhelming strain, and 28% indicated a good deal of strain.

“Caregiving is one of the most important issues affecting New Yorkers today,” said Igal Jellinek, Executive Director of the Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City, Inc.  “We are looking forward to these listening sessions to hear from caregivers and other community members.  Through their words and shared experiences, we will develop policy recommendations that will make caregiving a legislative priority in New York State.”

“Caregivers are the backbone of the entire long-term care system,” said Ann Marie Cook, President/CEO of Lifespan & Director of the NYS Caregiving & Respite Coalition.  “As providers, we want to recognize the extraordinary work of unpaid caregivers, assist them and strengthen needed services.  To do that, we need to listen.  We are thrilled to join AARP in these listening sessions to learn from those who do so much day in and day out.” 

More information on the survey and future listening sessions around the state can be found at .

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