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AARP AARP States Washington DC

Let’s Get Family Caregivers the Support They Need and Deserve

More than 48 million Americans, including 74,000 here in the District, are family caregivers. It is one of the most important jobs we will ever do, and one of the most difficult. Family caregivers help their older parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently – managing medications, preparing meals, helping with bathing and dressing and so much more.

These individuals hold up a broken long-term care system. Dedicated family caregivers in the District provide 69 million hours of care every year, adding up to $1.3 billion in unpaid labor per year, saving District taxpayers billions. The physical, financial and emotional toll on them is great. Many family caregivers work full or part-time at paying jobs, and many cut back their hours or quit their jobs entirely to make sure their loved one gets the care they need.

Family Caregivers Month was celebrated during the month of November. Family caregivers deserve our recognition, but simply saying thank you is not enough. That’s why throughout the year, AARP is fighting for commonsense solutions to save caregivers time and money and provide more support.

If you’re new to family caregiving, we encourage you to check out, where you can find 10 Tips for Family Caregivers, which provides advice and resources from experts and fellow caregivers. Among the most important:

  • Don’t Go It Alone: Being a family caregiver can be exhausting and intense; look to fellow caregivers to show you the way.
  • Build a Support Network: Enlist family, friends and community members to assist with caregiving tasks; don’t be shy about asking for help and accepting assistance.
  • Make a Budget: Family caregiving expenses can quickly deplete your savings if you’re not careful; create a financial plan and stick with it.
  • Get Paperwork Organized: Organizing medical information and legal documents provides peace of mind, and it’s a real time-saver when you need that info on a moment’s notice.
  • Know Your Limits: Although it isn’t easy, sometimes being a family caregiver means knowing when it is time to seek professional help to care for your loved one.

For far too long, family caregivers have gone unnoticed by many lawmakers. That’s why AARP is launching I Am A Caregiver – a nationwide movement to support family caregivers and the loved ones they care for. We’re tapping into the power of family caregivers to force elected officials to pay attention to this important constituency. But we need your help. Raise your hand and join the fight at

You’re handling tasks big and small, from shopping for groceries, to managing medication, to organizing financial matters and much more. And we know you need support. Join the 48 million caregivers, and people who support caregivers, across the country to raise your hands and show lawmakers that they can’t ignore the needs of so many Americans.

Raise your hand and join the fight for family caregivers at TODAY!

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