Why isn't AARP working on helping family caregivers?

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AARP supposedly represents the interests of seniors. Where are they in lobbying for legislation that would allow loved ones to compensate their family caregivers? The restrictions Medicaid places on family caregiving compensation are shameful.

Why must one have a signed contract in order to pay a family member to care for them? If they are living in someone else's home, why is the loved one not allowed to pay their share of utilities, mortgage payment, taxes, food, etc,? At the very LEAST this should be a no-brainer.

Why is a caregiver not entitled to a minimum payment of some kind for 24-hour care of a "certified can't live alone loved one?" This represents a huge gift to corporate-owned nursing homes.

Medicaid says that family care is considered a gift. The only way a family caregiver can be paid is if there's a contract between the loved one and the care giver that follows very specific rules . . . AND the caregiver must keep a daily log of all the things they're doing for the individual. Of course, the amount paid must be considered reasonable for the area.

Why not a set amount that'e exempt from these draconian rules? If there's a daughter and husband living in their own home and they take his mom in instead of sending her to a nursing home, why should they not be allowed one-third of the household expenses plus a fee for caregiving? Maybe maxed out at, say, $1,000 a month. (Plus those 1/3 expenses) All, of course, subject to the loved one being able to afford same.

I just wonder why caregivers don't rise up and lobby AARP and congress to make these changes. It only seems fair. And, often, a loved one would be able to live where they want to live while not overly burdening the family who loves them enough to take them in.

Your thoughts?


In the past 4 decades in this country I've learned that trying doing anything that will take dollars from the healthcare/elder care industry is fruitless. The only thing that has been able to pass even in part has been the Affordable Care Act, which was so gutted by the time it got out of Congress that it was nearly useless in containing costs. Then the states fought it and the courts are trying to crush it even further. The healthcare industry is very, very powerful in the US.

If such legislation is tried, the first thing that happens is viral emails will be sent out talking about the atrocities that have been done by some family caregivers. It will talk about how government cannot pay for such atrocities. Then tea party will come in with personal responsibility arguments -- it's not the taxpayer's job to pay. Etc. etc. It is a good thought about paying family carers, Maggie, but it would meet with major opposition.

There are some ways for carers to get paid, but those ways are pretty much for veterans, poorer people, and wealthier people. People in the middle just have to do the best they can. The best advice I have for people is "don't quit your day job." We can only do as much as we have time for and shop for options that cover the rest.

On a similar line -- one problem I see in providing services for elders is they want to stay in their own home all the time. Providing low cost services for elders would be so much easier if we could all live in a community together, sharing human and other resources. Or it would easier if more than one family member was involved. There are so many answers, but so many don't want to give up anything.
I would be more than happy to pay higher taxes if said taxes were set aside for the care of the elderly like I have heard in other countries. The elder seem to be the forgotten generation except for Medicare, which is great, and Medicaid....

We now have 60 and 70 something year olds caring for their 90 something year old parents.... what is wrong with this picture? I keep hearing about the golden years, I am waiting.
As my SIL once said to me, "Whoever told you about The Golden years was lying." Ha!
I agree with all you have said. I also agree that to facilitate any meaningful change would mean going up against the health care industry giants. Having said that I believe in trying. Elizabeth Warren is my state senator. She is all about helping to even the playing field. I am going to write to her about this and then I'm going to keep writing. I'll also send a copy to the AARP. It has to start somewhere and this cannot go on.

About 25 years ago I remember financial advisers began talking about huge sums of money we needed to put aside for retirement. The numbers they suggested were ridiculous for most working families. I told my husband that I had this creepy feeling we were all being set up for harvest. Where there is money there will be people trying to get hold of it. Little did I know...
I would at least like to see old factory buildings (single story) converted into elderly apartments with some type of concierge or assisting on the premises. Sort of like AL, but take out the profit. Maybe have a homecare office in front of the building to take people shopping, drs, check on them. The family can check in between. Some govt subsidy would be nice. It would make taking care of elderly more bearable.

There is so much waste and poverty. If more elderly could be grouped into buildings and have some decent care included in the "condo fees" it would be great.

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