AARP North Dakota’s advocacy agenda is taking shape as we prepare for the 2019 session of the North Dakota Legislature, which beings on January 3.
AARP North Dakota is looking for volunteers to work with state legislators on issues such as caregiving, health care access, transportation and property taxes.
To recognize their integral work to support family caregivers in North Dakota, AARP named Senator Judy Lee, West Fargo, Representative Kathy Hogan, Fargo, and Representative Jay Seibel, Beulah, as 2017 “Capitol Caregivers,” a bipartisan group of nearly 100 elected officials from more than 30 states. These leaders have advanced policies to support family caregivers, who help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home and in the community.
Legislation to support North Dakota’s 62,100 family caregivers met with mixed results during the 2017 North Dakota Legislature.
Larry is a North Dakota caregiver who takes care of his wife with multiple sclerosis, every day, 24 hours a day. He does the cooking, bathing, and other necessary tasks that allow Larry and his wife to stay at home rather than move away from their homestead. It’s a tough job, but for Larry and the other 62,100 North Dakota caregivers, it’s a labor of love. That is why AARP is fighting for caregivers like Larry.
More than 15 AARP volunteers attended the May meeting of the legislature’s Interim Human Services Committee to show their support for North Dakota family caregivers.
November marked National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the 40 million Americans – more than 61,000 from North Dakota – who help older parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently at home, where they want to be. The unpaid care they provide – managing medications, cooking meals, driving to appointments, performing complex medical tasks and more – is valued at $860 million in North Dakota alone.
Family caregivers in North Dakota provided 58 million hours of care – worth an estimated $860 million – to their parents, spouses, partners, and other adult loved ones in 2013, according to AARP Public Policy Institute’s new report, Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update.
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