Chances are, if you aren’t a family caregiver yourself, you know someone who is. Every day, nearly 640,000 Minnesotans help their parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, neighbors, and other loved ones to live independently at home – where they want to be.
Here in Minnesota and across the country, AARP is fighting to support family caregivers and the loved ones they care for.
Patti knows first-hand the challenges of being a family caregiver. She takes care of her mother and shared their story with us.
I work full-time while trying to care for my 80-year-old mother.
In Minnesota family caregivers like Patti provide 540 million total hours of unpaid care per year, valued at $8.6 billion annually. They help their loved ones with medications and medical care, meals, bathing and dressing, chores, managing finances, and much more. It’s a role that can be stressful, exhausting and overwhelming.
That’s why AARP in Minnesota is fighting for commonsense solutions to help make caregiving responsibilities a little bit easier for you and others.
A National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers
Developed thanks to AARP’s strong advocacy, the new National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identifies 500 tangible actions that the federal government, state, local and other stakeholders can take to support family caregivers. The strategy was co-developed by an advisory council created after the AARP-backed RAISE Family Caregivers Act was signed into law in 2018.
At the federal level and here in Minnesota AARP will continue fighting to:
- Make providing care easier for family caregivers through better access to resources; training, education and inclusion in care; and more support at home.
- Alleviate the economic, financial and other challenges directly associated with caregiving responsibilities through financial relief, workplace flexibility and more access to respite care.
- Preserve and improve the health and well-being of family caregivers through culturally inclusive caregiver assessments to identify needed support and help you find it.
Here in Minnesota, we will continue working with state lawmakers on policies that support family caregivers.
Resources for Family Caregivers
AARP also offers free resources to help make caring for a loved one more manageable. If you need help, you can call our free resource line at 1-877-333-5885 or explore these resources.
- aarp.org/caregiving: Resources on caregiver life balance, financial and legal issues, care at home, health and more.
- AARP Minnesota Caregiver Resource Guide: AARP created state caregiver resource guides to help family caregivers access key programs, services and agencies in their community
- Financial Workbook for Family Caregivers: A practical guide focused on health, housing and money management.
- AARP’s HomeFit Guide: a free publication (available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese) featuring smart ways to make a home comfortable, safe and a great fit for older adults.
- AARP’s Family Caregiving Facebook Group: a place to connect, share practical tips, offer support, and discuss family caregiving experiences.
Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system. Let’s give them the support they’ve earned.