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Caregivers in Maryland Call for Increased Funding, Support

AARP survey shows extent, impact of family caregiving in state.

BALTIMORE, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Marylanders providing care to family members or loved ones need information on available resources for caregivers and say it is important that state funding for home & community-based services be increased, according to a survey released today by AARP Maryland. More than 350,000 AARP members in Maryland are or have been caregivers.

The survey found that most caregivers have made work or personal sacrifices to provide care, including going into work late or leaving early, being distracted at work, and giving up vacations, hobbies, social activities and exercise.

"Family caregivers are estimated to be providing over $6 billion in unpaid care to older adults in Maryland each year," said Joseph DeMattos, Jr., AARP Maryland Senior State Director. "These individuals are providing a service which is invaluable - both to their loved ones and to society at large. But they need more support."

Sixty percent of current caregivers are caring for their parents or their spouse's parents, most often providing support with transportation, household chores, companionship and medical care.

While nearly half (49 percent) acknowledge that providing care is emotionally stressful, only about 16 percent say they have used respite care, a service that gives them a short break from their caregiving responsibilities. More than half say that information on respite and available resources for caregivers would be extremely or very helpful.

Eight in ten members say it is important that funding for home & community-based services be increased; nearly seven in ten would be more likely to vote for a candidate for state office who supports such an increase.

The survey was conducted by mail in August and September 2008, and released in conjunction with a leadership roundtable on caregiving hosted by AARP Maryland today. The complete results can be viewed on-line at


AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.

Divided We Fail

It's time we ensure health and long-term financial security for all. That's why AARP, Business Roundtable, the Service Employees International Union and the National Federation of Independent Businesses are leading Divided We Fail, an initiative to give voice to millions of Americans who are tired of letting Washington gridlock stand in the way of affordable, quality health care and long-term financial security. Go to to learn more.

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