FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/State of the Caregiver Union
I received a call from the White House press
office before the President’s State of the Union
address. They asked if I would talk to the media
about the fact that he would be discussing tax
credits for family caregivers. I said “Sure,”
but received no calls the next day. Oh well.
It was, and still is, wonderful to hear the
President of the United States say the words “family
caregiver.” The year was 1999 and the President in
question, William Jefferson Clinton.
The feeling of wonder and enthrallment did not
diminish one iota eleven years later as I heard
another President (and Vice President) once again
talk about the importance of family caregivers, and
even add some much needed additional funds towards
The other day, during the Middle Class Task Force
meeting, President Obama announced his plan to call
for a $102.5 million Caregiver Initiative which
- $52.5 million in funds to the Department of Health
and Human Services Caregiver Support Program to
allow for temporary respite care, counseling,
training and referrals to critical services.
- $50 million to programs that provide transportation
help, adult day care, and in-home services like
personal assistance, bathing, and cooking, to help
elders stay in their homes longer.
The increases proposed for the National Family
Caregiver Support Program are greatly needed to help
the work of such groups as the Area Agency on Aging
organizations in our communities.
As U.S. Assistant Secretary of Aging Kathy Greenlee
noted in Today’s Caregiver magazine’s
January/February cover interview, isolation is one
of the greatest challenges family caregivers face. I
couldn’t agree more. I look forward to the help this
increased support will offer caregivers to connect
with one another in both rural and urban communities
around the nation.