Supporting family caregivers, enhancing retirement security, and helping Kentuckians live independently are among AARP Kentucky’s top state legislative priorities.
AARP Kentucky advocates on policy issues that matter most to Kentuckians 50-plus and their families. AARP volunteers and staff work on both state and federal legislative issues.
Whether attending lobby day, contacting legislative representatives or attending a town hall meeting, our 470,000 Kentucky members are an essential part of our advocacy efforts. The compassion, commitment and perseverance of our advocates and members help make Kentucky a better place to live.
In 2018, AARP Kentucky’s priorities seek to empower people to choose how they live as they age. Sign up here to receive e-advocacy alerts to keep you up-to-date on our progress and how you can help.
Supporting Family Caregivers
Proposed legislation would create a state credit of up to $1000 for family caregivers who help their parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities or loved ones.
Family Caregivers in Kentucky
Family caregivers help their loved ones live independently in their homes and communities keeping them out of more costly nursing homes and saving taxpayer dollars. The unpaid care these family caregivers provide in Kentucky is $7 billion a year. Family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, preparing meals, managing medications, driving to appointments, keeping up with finances and more.
Why is the tax credit needed?
Family caregivers take on huge responsibilities that can be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting – not to mention challenging financially. Many juggle family caregiving duties while working full – or part time jobs; some are still raising families.
Seventy-eight percent of family caregivers use their own money to care for loved ones – paying for transportation, home modifications, medications, assistive technology and more.
Those caring for loved ones 18 and older spent an average of nearly 20 percent of their annual income on caregiving expenses – an average of roughly $7,000 in 2016.
In order to help their loved ones, family caregivers often risk their own health and financial security. They tap into their savings accounts, delay or stop saving for their future, and neglect their own health care.
In addition to easing some of the added financial costs of family caregivers, this tax credit could assist in the following ways:
- Providing relief so that family caregivers can take a hard-earned break
- Helping family caregivers who work pay for home care or other support so they can continue working while also fulfilling their family caregiving responsibilities.
Enhancing Retirement Security
Strengthen Public Employee Retirement
AARP will engage as needed in legislative efforts to protect retirees from reduction or elimination of promised pension benefits, preserve cost of living adjustments, and limit taxation of retirement income. Today’s retirees and future retirees have paid into the system over a lifetime of work and are counting on the public employee retirement systems.
- AARP Kentucky’s advocacy will focus on assuring the General Assembly meets its full fiscal obligation and contributions to benefit plans and assure solvency for the future retirees.
Helping Kentuckians Live Independently
More than three-quarters (77%) of Kentucky registered voters age 45 and older believe that being cared for at home with caregiver assistance is the ideal situation when the basic tasks of life become more difficult due to aging or illness. AARP supports improving the balance of funding for home and community-based model that avoids costly institutions and supports services in the community. These vital cost-effective services promote consumer choice, help Kentuckians live independently, and can save taxpayer dollars.
Long-term Services and Supports (LTSS)
AARP seeks appropriate priority funding for community senior services to meet the growing demands and reducing waiting lists for services. These include: meals on wheels, in home care, local senior centers, adult protective services and stable funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen program.
AARP remains committed to ensuring that any reforms made to state tax structures are equitable, progressive and safeguard the financial security of our 50-plus population. In addition to raising sufficient revenue, state and local tax systems should follow the general guiding principles of equity, neutrality, administrative efficiency, and consistency with broader social goals.
Affordable Utility Services
AARP is working for our members and Kentucky families to ensure affordable and reliable electric, gas, and internet services. AARP has been one of the only organizations in Kentucky working at both the federal and state levels to fight against unfair utility rates and to help people save money on their utility bills.