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A Government Plan to Help Caregivers

Checklist Helps Put Affairs in Order
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services put forth a national strategy – the first of its kind – to support millions of family caregivers and address the challenges they face when caring for people with developmental disabilities or other health issues.

The Department of Health and Human Services or HHS has come up with a government plan to help caregivers in the next three years. The plan has 345 actions, as well as more than 150 actions that can be used by federal, state and local governments, as well as businesses and communities. Beck, Lenox & Stolzer offers details as reported in Seasons’ recent article entitled “Federal government releases first national strategy to support millions of family caregivers.” Some of the actions detailed in the national strategy are meant to address the lack of resources caregivers have when it comes to maintaining their health, well-being and financial security.

“Supporting family caregivers is an urgent public health issue, exacerbated by the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “This national strategy recognizes the critical role family caregivers play in a loved one’s life.”

According to the HHS, roughly 53 million family caregivers each year in the U.S. help seniors who are aging or have a disability or chronic health condition.

HHS also says that millions of older adults and people with disabilities wouldn’t be able to live in their communities or homes without the help of caregivers. If replaced by paid caregivers, their services could cost an estimated $470 billion each year.

“While family caregiving is rewarding, it can be challenging, and when caregivers do not have the support they need, their health, well-being and quality of life often suffer,” officials wrote.

In addition, officials say their financial future can be put at risk because caregiving responsibilities cost an estimated $522 billion annually, which is “lost income” for families.

“When the challenges become overwhelming and family caregivers no longer can provide support, the people they care for often are left with no choices except moving to nursing homes and other institutions or to foster care—the cost of which is typically borne by taxpayers.”

The national strategy focuses on five main goals:

  • Increase awareness and outreach
  • Build partnerships and engagement with family caregivers
  • Strengthen services and supports
  • Ensure financial and workplace security; and
  • Expand data, research and evidence-based practices.

We at Beck, Lenox & Stolzer are cautiously optimistic about a government plan to help caregivers. In the meantime, if you need help figuring out how to pay for long-term care, either in the home or in a nursing home, contact us for information.

Reference: Seasons (Sep. 23, 2022) “Federal government releases first national strategy to support millions of family caregivers”


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