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Caregivers in Maryland Call for Increased Funding, Support
Date:12/15/2008

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 c
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SOURCE AARP Maryland
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