NH Groups: Family Caregivers Could Benefit from Credit for Caring Act
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
CONCORD, N.H. - More than 48 million people nationwide become unpaid caregivers for an adult family member or friend each year, and new survey data says on average, they spend more than $7,000 a year to provide that care. A bill before Congress would provide eligible caregivers with a tax credit of up to $5,000 to offset those expenses.
Todd Fahey, state director of AARP New Hampshire, said the Granite State is home to roughly 177,000 family caregivers.
"They are the backbone of the long-term care system," he said. "They're the ones who do all this work without compensation, usually without any recognition from anybody, other than the one they're caring for."
Fahey recommended that caregivers record their expenses as they're incurred, talk with their loved one about their wishes for care, and make a money management plan. About half of caregivers surveyed by AARP said they spend their own money on household expenses, and 30% pitch in to pay rent or mortgage payments for the person they're assisting.
Caregivers in what's known as the "Boomer" and "Silent" generations spend the most raw dollars, as the study found many are caring for people with dementia. But Fahey added that it's "Millennial" and "Gen-Z" caregivers who spend the greatest share of their annual income on care-related expenses.
"People first starting off in their careers and just sort of getting themselves financially stable," he said. "It hits them harder."
About a third of respondents said they've had to change their own work schedules, or take time off. Retired Granite Stater Roger Desrosiers was a caregiver to his father for 17 years. He said he believes that in addition to a tax credit, caregivers need services such as day programs for seniors and paid family and medical leave.
"Around the time that he had his heart attack," he said, "it would have been very helpful to be able to take the time off work then, and be home with him - and to be able to monitor his health over those initial days and weeks."
Desrosiers said that when his father first came to stay with him and his wife, his father was largely independent. But over time, after suffering a heart attack - and later, dementia - the level of care increased.
get more stories like this via email
LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…
PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …
PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …
HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …
ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …