Give Us a Break from Caucuses and Committees: Give Us an Investment

Denise

Give Us a Break from Caucuses and Committees: Give Us an Investment

Denise
(Editor's Note: Today, we begin a new campaign through our Caregiving Advocacy and Awareness Volunteer Corp called Give Us a Break. Our campaign, targeted at candidates running for office, puts the spotlight on our needs as family caregivers. Please feel free to share our campaign, which will last through November, across social media. You also can check our social media accounts -- our Facebook fan page and our Twitter account -- and share our content.)

packs-163497_640When you care for a family member or friend, you often see government in inaction. That same inaction seems true when it comes to our government helping family caregivers.

Consider:

  1. Last year, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), along with Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) announced the creation of the Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) caucus. Organizations such as AARP and the American Health Care Association support this caucus.

  2. Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, introduced in July of last year, is currently under consideration in Congress and has passed the Senate unanimously. The Act would develop a National Caregiving Strategy under the leadership of the Secretary of Health and Human Services with an advisory council made up of people with disabilities, older adults, family caregivers, direct support professionals, and government officials.


We've got caucuses and committees but no solutions to help the 40 million or more family caregivers* who provide care day in and day out.

Give us a break from these caucuses and committees because these committees and caucuses do not make any difference in our caregiving days.

We need different days. We need help.

We need our government to invest in us with a WPA for Caregiving because more than 40 million of us are working through a different kind of depression -- caring for family members with a chronic illness, disability or disease.

If we had a WPA for Caregiving, we could:

  • Build and staff intergenerational day centers for both persons with disabilities, older adults and children. The centers could operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including weekends, and provide transportation throughout the day for its attendees.

  • Add social workers and a Certified Caregiving Consultant™ to the staff of every local library to help family caregivers get what they need.

  • Hire local community outreach personnel to check on homebound, disabled individuals like Jersey Call and Check Service.

  • Hire nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to provide weekly training programs for family caregivers at local libraries.

  • Create incentive programs to encourage individuals to become home care workers (like certified nursing assistants). Incentive programs would also reward those home care workers who are responsible and dependable.

  • Develop ongoing training programs for these home care workers to ensure family caregivers can hire from a pool of qualified home care workers.

  • Hire builders to make buildings in our communities (including doctors offices) accessible for both family caregivers and carees.

  • Offer grants to families to hire builders to make their homes caregiving friendly.

  • Offers grants to family caregivers who want to start a business to help other family caregivers.

  • Provide financial aid to help family caregivers hire the care they need.

  • Provide incentives to local companies that adopt a flexible work environment so family caregivers can take time off during a caregiving crisis without worrying about losing their jobs while they worry about losing their carees.

  • Organize and maintain a lending closet of caregiving supplies and equipment in each community.

  • Provide property tax exemptions for family caregivers.


The WPA during the Depression built roads. Let’s create a new WPA for Caregiving that builds support in our communities for family caregivers.

Share our message to candidates running for office in your community, in your state and for president. You also can spread the word to your already-elected officials. (Search for your representatives. You'll find social media accounts for the 2016 presidential candidates, below.)

Help spread the word:

  1. Share this post; or

  2.  Share the image, below, a link to this post and the suggested content, below, on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to tag candidates and politicians in your tweets and posts.


Suggested Facebook post:


I care for my (insert your relationship to your caree and your caree's diagnosis). I'm one of at least 40 million Americans who provide care to a family member or friend. We need our government to invest in us with a WPA for Caregiving because more than 40 million of us are working through a different kind of depression -- caring for family members with a chronic illness, disability or disease. Learn more: bit.ly/wpacare


or


I care for my (insert your relationship to your caree and your caree's diagnosis). I'm one of at least 40 million Americans who provide care to a family member or friend. We need our government to invest in us with a WPA for Caregiving because more than 40 million of us are working through a different kind of depression -- caring for family members with a chronic illness, disability or disease. The WPA during the Depression built roads. Let’s create a new WPA for Caregiving that builds support in our communities for family caregivers. Learn more: bit.ly/wpacare


Suggested Twitter tweets:


Where's our WPA for Caregiving? We're in different kind of depression. bit.ly/wpacare


or


40+ million are in different kind of depression. Help us with a WPA for Caregiving. bit.ly/wpacare


Give Us a Break(2)

Social Media Accounts for Presidential Candidates

Ben Carson

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Ted Cruz

John Kasich

Marco Rubio

Bernie Sanders

Donald Trump

* According to the research release in June 2015 by National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months. However, in 2013, Pew Research Center estimated that more than 90 million individuals care for an adult or child with significant health issues.