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Input from Family Caregivers to Influence ND Policy

North Dakota lawmakers are considering what more can be done to support family caregivers in the state. Credit: Highwaystarz-Photography
North Dakota lawmakers are considering what more can be done to support family caregivers in the state. Credit: Highwaystarz-Photography
October 19, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota's family caregivers are being urged to have their voices heard, with their input going to help shape the state's policies on support and services.

There are some 62,000 family caregivers statewide and lawmakers are currently conducting a study on their needs. Among the items they'll consider are the results of a brief online survey from AARP North Dakota, says Associate State Director of Advocacy Josh Askvig.

"We're encouraging them to go online at action.aarp.org/ndcaregiversurvey and fill out the eight question survey to make sure the legislature knows what they want to see done to help improve their situation," says Askvig.

AARP North Dakota is also gathering input through a series of listening sessions to be held this week in Fargo and Grand Forks and next week in Bismarck and Minot.

Askvig says the survey covers the basics on what caregivers are doing to help their loved ones stay at home and independent, including wound care, meal preparation and medication management.

"It also asks them questions about 'Are they working?' One of the things we've learned from national research is that usually about half of caregivers, if not more, are providing care for a loved one while they're working either full or part-time," he says.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND