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AARP Pennsylvania Recognizes National Family Caregivers Month

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November is National Family Caregivers Month, and AARP Pennsylvania is proud to honor the nearly 1.6 million family caregivers in the state who provide unpaid care and support to their loved ones. 

Every day, across the country, some 48 million Americans help aging parents, spouses, friends, and other relatives with medical care, meals, bathing, dressing, chores, and much more. These acts of love, commitment, and compassion enable them to live independently and in the comfort of their own home.  

Even in ordinary times, family caregivers undertake a daunting set of daily tasks. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, however, these responsibilities expanded and became more complex for many. As we continue to weather these unprecedented times, AARP Pennsylvania remains supportive of family caregivers and the loved ones they care for by advocating for more support and access to resources.

AARP Pennsylvania successfully fought earlier this year for the passage of House Bill 464, which was designed to expand eligibility and allow flexibility in the administration of Pennsylvania’s Caregiver Support Program. The bill was signed into law by Governor Wolf on June 11.  Now known as Act 20 of 2021, the program provides support to caregivers – including caregivers of older adults, grandparents raising grandchildren, and older caregivers of adults with a disability. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is responsible to for administering the program, which is accessed at the community level through your local area agency on aging.  

AARP has additional resources for family caregivers, including a dedicated, toll-free family caregiving line. While our agents can’t provide specific advice to callers, they can suggest resources on a variety of topics, including care for the caregiver, caregiving and work, financial issues, home care, legal issues, long-distance caregiving, long-term care, medical care, and veteran caregiving. Agents are available to take calls Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, at 1-877-333-5885. 

AARP also recognizes that no matter where someone is in their caregiving journey, having resources at their fingertips can make the process easier. To this end, AARP has developed a Family Caregiver Guide with the caregiver in mind. The Guide is designed to serve as a starting point to help caregivers find the services and supports that may be needed. It features important resources in the areas of health, finances, legal aid, housing, transportation, and more by providing program descriptions, website information, and, where available, address, phone, and contact information. To order a free print copy of the online guide, simply call the AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line at 1-877-333-5885 and indicate the state guide you would like to receive along with your mailing address and a copy will be mailed to you.  

“Taking on the responsibility of being a caregiver is an extraordinary task,” said AARP State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “To often caregivers can be overwhelmed and unprepared. AARP Pennsylvania is laser-focused on serving as a wise friend and fierce defender to all family caregivers and is committed to ensuring they receive the support and services needed as they care for their loved ones while maintaining their own well-being.”

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