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Booker, Pascrell Introduce Legislation to Support Family Caregivers

Bill establishes grant program to provide training and resources to informal, unpaid family caregivers

Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr (NJ-09) introduced legislation that would provide informal, unpaid family caregivers resources and support to help in providing quality care for their loved ones.

“As the health coverage for millions of Americans continues to hang in the balance, we must do all we can to support the most vulnerable among us and those who care for them,” said Sen. Booker.  “Family caregivers can endure great personal strain and often experience a decline in their own health resulting from the grueling demands of providing care.  These selfless Americans deserve the training and resources they need to care for their loved ones while maintaining their own health.”

"Family caregivers allow people to stay at home surrounded by the people and things they know; and they allow people to remain connected to and engaged in their communities. In talking to family caregivers in New Jersey, they all say they need the same thing – more support. The In Home Care Act aims to give them just that," said Rep. Pascrell. "Caring for a sick or disabled family member is one of the hardest jobs there is and it is my hope that this bill can make that job a little bit easier."

Caregivers provide upwards of $470 billion in unpaid care each year. Many caregivers not only help with day-to-day tasks such as feeding, bathing, and dressing, but they also perform complex medical tasks they have not received the training for and were once only provided in hospitals or nursing homes, or by home care professionals.

The In-Home Caregiver Assessment Resources & Education (CARE) Act would provide the training and support caregivers need by establishing competitive grants to health care entities and community organizations to carry out family caregiver home visiting programs.  These programs would allow providers to assess caregivers’ specific needs and help tailor training and resources to best serve the care recipient.

“Home care professionals provide high quality cost effective care patient care in the home.  Ensuring caregivers are properly trained is a vital component of providing care in the community,” said Christine Buteas, President & CEO, Home Care & Hospice Association of NJ.

"This program will assist individuals and families who do not qualify for traditional Home Care to receive support and knowledge to help care for their family members and keep them safely at home,” said Alyce Brophy, Home Care & Hospice Association of NJ Board Chair and President and CEO of Community VNA.

This legislation is supported by: AARP, Visiting Nurses Association of America, ElevatingHOME, The Home Care and Hospice Association of New Jersey, The Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Alzheimer’s Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the Caregiver Action Network.

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