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AARP AARP States Washington DC

Family Caregivers—Holding Up a Broken Long-Term Care System

District’s Family Caregivers Need Support

AARP is fighting to save time and money for more than 48 million family caregivers across America. Their efforts allow their older parents, spouses, or other loved ones to live independently instead of being forced into nursing homes.

These dedicated family caregivers provide $600 billion worth of unpaid labor each year—managing medications, preparing meals, helping with bathing, feeding & dressing, providing transportation to medical appointments, and handling financial & legal matters. And most people doing all that unpaid work are also trying to juggle paying jobs. Many are forced to reduce their hours or quit entirely.

The physical, emotional & financial toll of family caregiving is enormous. Arnita, a caregiver from the District, said, “My partner died of cancer. I was fortunate to have an employer who gave me the flexibility to stay home to care for him. We caregivers need more help—financially, physically, and emotionally.”

To learn more and take action, visit

Unpaid Family Caregiving Labor Force in the District by the Numbers

  • 74,000 unpaid caregivers living in the District 
  • 69 million hours of care provided per year 
  • $1.37 billion value of the unpaid labor in the District per year 
  • Over $7,200 average out-of-pocket caregiving costs per year across the U.S. 

AARP DC supports the Grandparent and Caregiver Subsidy Eligibility Amendment Act of 2023

Over 7,000 children under the age of 18 in the District live in grandparent-led households. Financial assistance is available to help these caregivers offset the costs of caring for children who may otherwise end up in the foster care system. D.C.’s Grandparent and Kinship Caregiver Programs provide a monthly subsidy to eligible District residents raising their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-nieces, or great-nephews. Caregivers use the funds for items and activities that benefit the children, such as groceries, school supplies, and summer camps.

AARP DC is fighting to expand the Grandparent Caregiver Program. Join us and make your voice heard!

On Thursday, November 2, 2023, the District Council’s Committee on Facilities and Family Services will hold a public hearing. One of the items being discussed is the Grandparent and Caregiver Subsidy Eligibility Amendment Act of 2023. If passed, this bill would amend the District’s Grandparent Caregiver and Kinship Care Programs through which a grandparent or close relative of a child may be eligible to receive subsidy payments for the care and custody of a child.

The amendment would raise the income eligibility threshold from 200% of the federally defined poverty level to 300%, providing more District caregivers access to this important program.

How you can help:

To learn more about support for grandparents and close relative caregivers, call (866) 326-5461 (FAM-KIN1) or visit

About AARP Washington DC
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