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WA State AARP Representatives in D.C. to Advocate for Caregivers

On Wednesday, AARP Washington volunteer state president Mike Tucker, right, visited U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-WA, co-sponsor of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. (AARP Washington)
On Wednesday, AARP Washington volunteer state president Mike Tucker, right, visited U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-WA, co-sponsor of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. (AARP Washington)
June 9, 2016

SEATTLE - Representatives from AARP Washington met with members of Congress Wednesday in Washington D.C. to advocate for family caregivers. AARP Washington volunteer state president Mike Tucker and state director Doug Shadel asked lawmakers to support Social Security and two bills that help family caregivers.

"It puts a lot of strain on them both emotionally and physically, and in many cases financially," Tucker said. "Many of those folks, about 4 in 10, are feeling real financial strain."

In Washington, nearly 830,000 family members provide uncompensated care annually. That care is valued at $10.7 billion.

Along with a bill to provide tax credits for caregivers, AARP Washington is supporting the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage, or RAISE, Family Caregivers Act, which recently passed the Senate. Tucker said these bills are aimed at relieving some of the financial stress caregivers are feeling.

"In the case of many people, they're actually having to leave the workplace to care for the person that they're caring for, and that's costing not just loss of income, it's causing loss of benefits," he said.

Tucker and Shadel visited with U.S. Representatives Dennis Heck, Derek Kilmer and David Reichert's staffs, as well as those of Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA