Family Caregiver Platform Project: What’s Urgent Now?

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The pace of activity in the 2016 election cycle is picking up dramatically. We are in the midst of a populist moment, in which citizens around the country are making their views heard loudly and clearly. For the tens of millions of Americans who have, are, or will be family caregivers, this spring offers an unprecedented opportunity to weigh in by participating in state party platform processes.

Here at Altarum’s Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, we have created the Family Caregiver Platform Project (FCPP), a nonpartisan educational project to help you do that. With your creativity and help, we can get caregiving issues included in as many state party platforms as possible during the run-up to the 2016 election. It doesn’t matter which party you belong to! The FCPP is a nonpartisan effort.

The FCPP website at caregivercorps.org provides background information so that anyone who wants to raise the cluster of aging issues that are helping to define the 21st century can do so. With just a few minutes of your time, we can help you have significant impact in your state by raising caregiving issues with local party officials.

The FCPP provides downloadable templates you can use as starting points for submission to a Platform Committee or Resolutions Committee in your state. In some state parties, resolutions are an additional policy tool that can be passed either instead of, or in addition to, platforms. The templates provide model language suitable for either situation.

For downloads go to: http://caregivercorps.org/downloads/

National Partners

In addition to Altarum Institute (altarum.org) and the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness (medicaring.org), the FCPP’s national partners are:

  • AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine / amda.com
  • ARCH National Respite Coalition / archrespite.org/national-respite-coalition
  • Caregiver Voices United, a 501c4 allied with Caregiver Action Network / caregiveraction.org
  • Caring Across Generations / caringacross.org
  • Community Catalyst / communitycatalyst.org
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society / good-sam.com
  • Family Caregiver Alliance / caregiver.org
  • Justice in Aging / justiceinaging.org
  • Leading Age / leadingage.org
  • National Alliance for Caregiving / caregiving.org
  • National Coalition on Care Coordination / http://www.rush.edu/national-coalition-care-coordination
  • National Council on Aging / ncoa.org

Caregivers Speak Up At Caucuses

Local caucuses are convening across the nation. In addition to supporting your candidates for President and other offices, you can also advance caregiving issues at these local events.

Dozens of volunteers have attended caucus meetings to speak up about the need to support family caregivers in various states. For example, Minnesota volunteers recently succeeded in passing motions supporting family caregivers at precinct caucuses for both parties. This is the first step in the Minnesota “bubble up” platform process.

Special thanks to Leanna Smith of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging (MAAA), who shared suggested platform language with her Metropolitan Caregiver Service Collaborative members. Leanna wrote, “I was thrilled with the response. Heard from several people that this made it easy for them to bring the resolution forward at their precinct caucus and they would be doing so. This morning I heard from three people that they were successful in getting the resolution passed. I think even for those caucus meetings where the resolution may not have been passed, having the conversation is important. So again thank you for your work. It definitely had an impact.”

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