Oregon Lawmakers Preserve Caregiver Programs In Recent Budget Session

Jul 20, 2015

Funding for caregiver training and networking has been preserved in the recently concluded Oregon legislative session.

About 459,000 Oregonians are unpaid family caregivers for loved ones. Nationally, AARP estimates the value of this care rivals Wal-Mart's annual sales.
Credit Chris Kirzeder/Alzheimer's Association.

Oregon lawmakers set aside funding for 2 programs: Options Counseling and Caregiver Training through Oregon Care Partners.  The American Association of Retired Persons recently reported it is crucial to continue those programs as more people begin dealing with an aging baby boomer population. Sarah Holland is a spokeswoman for the state's Alzheimer's Association chapter. She says families provide enough unpaid hours of care every year to rival Wal-Mart's annual sales and lawmakers can't afford to ignore that.

Holland: "This is something that goes on for years," she says. "It really can limit someone's ability to function in multiple ways, whether that's to be employed, or their own health. Ultimately, those can directly impact the state and how the state is functioning."

The new AARP report says one in five people over 25 cares for an elderly or disabled person while holding a job. Funding for the caregiver programs has been allocated in Oregon for the next two years.

copyright, 2015