Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AHCA Joins Caucus to Raise Awareness of the Challenges Faced by Family Caregivers

Tom Burke and Dana Halvorson

Senator Bennet of Colorado
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) recently took part in the launch of the Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) caucus event on Capitol Hill as a charter member. The event, covered by the Washington Post, saw AARP, AHCA and several other national organizations joined U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO, and pictured speaking) and U.S. Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) in the announcement of the formation of the ACT Caucus. The caucus is intended to help bring greater attention to family caregiving and engage Members of Congress on key issues surrounding caregiving. In a press release, AHCA reminded participants that “…Family caregiving does not stop at the front door of a care center.” According to AARP, about 42 million family caregivers provide over 40 billion hours of unpaid care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. The estimated economic value of these unpaid contributions was $450 billion in 2009

“Providers are in a unique position to understand the value of family involvement in caregiving and the emotional and financial challenges families continually face,” Mark Parkinson, AHCA President and CEO, said. AHCA members interact with family caregivers who may be using respite care services or who are actively involved with a loved one residing at a care center or in another setting. In ever increasing numbers, families are welcoming home a loved one who has rehabilitated at a post-acute care center after recovering from surgery (such as hip or knee replacement) or other procedure at a hospital. Oftentimes, recovery continues at home where care professionals closely support the family.

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