— AARP Massachusetts is pleased to announce that the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act went into effect as state law on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017! Every day more than 844,000 Massachusetts residents help their parents, spouses or loved ones live independently at home. These family caregivers take on huge responsibilities that can be stressful, exhausting and overwhelming. In 2015 in Massachusetts, family caregivers provided an estimated 786 million hours of unpaid care valued at approximately $11.6 billion annually. The CARE Act supports family …

— ♥ November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time set aside to recognize and champion unpaid family caregivers and the care they provide to loved ones. The distinction and annual theme, which this year is “Caregiving Around the Clock,” is organized by the Caregiver Action Network. In Massachusetts, there are more than 844,000 unpaid family caregivers. Few understand family caregiving as much as Liz O’Donnell, a Massachusetts resident and author, speaker, and entrepreneur. O’Donnell is the founder of WorkingDaughter.com, a community for …

— By Jill Gambon For five years, Vanessa Hogan cared for her sister, Dianna, who suffered from lymphoma, lupus, congestive heart failure and other chronic ailments. Emergency room visits, hospital stays and doctor appointments were frequent. Hogan accompanied her to appointments and visited her at least twice a day in the hospital, because she felt it was crucial that her sister have an advocate by her side. “Not having someone there with you is so hard. If you’re sick, you can’t …

— AARP is pleased to endorse the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3759) that will create a strategy to support family caregivers. The Senate recently passed the RAISE Act in a unanimous vote, which AARP applauded. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) was a Senate co-sponsor of the bill. Now it’s time for the House to do the same by approving H.R. 3759 — and you can help by calling your U.S. Representative and urging her/him to …

—   Family Caregivers Speak to Legislators On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, AARP Massachusetts state president Mike Festa and two AARP volunteers, Vanessa Hogan, and Madhav Kacker, offered personal family caregiving stories to the legislators who sit on the Joint Committee on Revenue, during a public hearing on An Act to Establish the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, Senate Bill 1530 and House Bill 1643. This legislation would help family caregivers in the state by providing a tax credit for certain expenses incurred by the caregivers. Vanessa Hogan of Boston, …

— NEW! AARP Delivers for Family Caregivers Every day, you deliver medicine. You deliver meals. You deliver love. Now, it’s our turn to deliver for you. Share your family caregiving story with AARP and we’ll give you a gift card for gas, groceries, or the drug store. All while we continue to fight for more support for family caregivers like help at home, workplace flexibility, training, relief—and much more. That’s how AARP will keep delivering, for you. Have you checked out I …

— What’s your image of a caregiver? If you envisaged a middle-aged woman, one who is caring for an ailing parent, you wouldn’t be wrong. AARP research shows that the “typical” family caregiver is a 49-year old woman who cares for a relative. Watch this video of comedian Jim Breuer, who is the caregiver for his father. Yet, according to Caregiving in the U.S., a 2015 AARP survey done in conjunction with the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), 40 percent of family …

— The Caregiver, Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act takes effect March 8, requiring state agencies to develop guidance for hospitals to ease the transition back home for patients and their caregivers. By this fall, hospitals across the state will give every patient an opportunity to designate a caregiver, notify the caregiver when the patient is about to be discharged and instruct the caregiver on how to perform follow-up medical tasks for the patient at home, such as managing medications or dressing …

— Thank you for reaching out to state legislators on behalf of this new bill that supports family caregivers in the state! As we told you last month, AARP Massachusetts has filed legislation to help family caregivers in the state by providing a tax credit for certain expenses incurred by the caregivers. The lead sponsors of the legislation, officially known as “An Act to Establish the Family Caregiver Tax Credit,” (SD.1553/HD.610), are Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) and Rep. Chris Walsh (D-Framingham). Sen. …

— See our time-sensitive Action Alert below! Of the more than 844,000 family caregivers in Massachusetts, very few are reimbursed for the care they provide. In fact, the estimated value of this care exceeds $11 billion per year, based on data from 2013. Most family caregivers help their loved ones with “activities of daily living” or ADLs. These include everyday functions and activities that individuals usually do without help, including bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring. In addition, many caregivers …