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Volunteer Advocates: the Power behind AARP Louisiana

Let’s face it.  We’re getting older.  How we live out our old age, whether it’s at home with the help of a family caregiver, an assisted living facility or nursing home, is of great importance.

According to AARP’s caregiving survey, 90% of Louisianans said they want to live at home for as long as possible with the support of family caregivers.  An overwhelming majority of Louisianans also want their taxpayer dollars going toward funding home and community based services to help folks age at home.

AARP Louisiana hosted Caregiver Day at the Capitol where volunteer advocates from across the state met with their legislators to stress the importance of caregiver funding and support for home and community based services.

caregiver day
AARP volunteer advocates on Caregiver Day on the Capitol steps.

Volunteers shared their personal caregiving stories and experiences in hopes of educating legislators about the need for services and maintaining the dignity of older adults.

AARP Louisiana volunteers are among the silent army of unpaid family caregivers in Louisiana that aid and assist their aging parents, spouses and loved ones to live independently at home.

Andrew Muhl, Director of Advocacy at AARP Louisiana, believes that volunteer advocates are important because they understand the issues at hand due to their own personal experiences.

“The greatest strength we have as advocates is the ability to tell our story,” Muhl said. “When we collectively tell our story, we are able to influence lawmakers and fight for family caregivers and their loved ones.”

Family caregiving is a family issue that crosses geographic and political lines not only in Louisiana, but across the nation, which is why volunteer advocates are so vital in the advocacy process.

Interested in getting involved in your community and becoming a voice for those unheard? Become a part of an Area Impact Team (AIT) in Shreveport, Monroe, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and New Orleans and join other regional volunteers that advocate for issues important to AARP and the 50 plus community.

Email Andrew Muhl at amuhl@aarp.org to receive more information about becoming a volunteer advocate. Follow AARP Louisiana on twitter and Facebook for more advocacy information and caregiving updates.

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