Increasing supports for the more than 540,000 Iowa family caregivers so they can more confidently care for their loved ones in their homes and communities tops the list of priorities AARP Iowa will be working on during the 2015 legislative session. AARP is focusing on passage of model legislation, The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act to better support family caregivers as they safely help Iowa seniors stay at home.
"As well as helping family caregivers to manage the medical or nursing tasks they are called on to perform when their loved one is released from the hospital, this legislation brings attention and focus to the needs of the vast majority of older Iowa resident who want to live independently at home," said Anthony Carroll, AARP Iowa Associate State Director for Advocacy.
AARP is working with elected officials, advocates and a number of statewide family caregiver support organizations to urge passage of The CARE Act during the 2015 state legislative session. Iowans are invited to give voice to the effort by sharing their caregiving story at www.IHeartCaregiving.org "Stories honor the tremendous contributions and commitment family caregivers make," said Carroll. "By sharing our caregiving experiences with each other, we build community and personal strength as we move through the caregiving journey."
In addition to passing The CARE Act, during the session that began Monday, Jan. 12, AARP Iowa will be working to ensure the state continues to meet its commitment to maintaining funding for home and community based services, including establishing strong statewide local Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs).
Other key priorities center on protecting Iowans’ financial security and safety by ensuring that protections for telephone, electric utilities and pensions are maintained. AARP Iowa will also continue to monitor legislation affecting telephone service and electric utilities for older Iowans and their families.
AARP Iowa members interested in getting involved with advocacy issues are invited to join AARP's 2015 annual Legislative Breakfast and Lobby Day to talk with state leaders about our issues on Wednesday, Feb. 25th. The event starts with an issues overview and information session from noon to 5 on Tuesday, Feb. 24th. For more information, please email Connie Eastman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about our 2015 legislative priorities here and view a video conversation with State Director Kent Sovern and Advocacy Director Anthony Carroll here.