President Obama gave his state of the union last night and talked about the economy, jobs and infrastructure. During President Obama’s address, he mentioned his Middle Class Task Force (MCTF) which is proposing more support for caregivers by providing counseling, training, help with transportation, and temporary respite care for those who need assistance or if they have to work. Senior care and senior living are domestic opportunities to create jobs and replace those lost as part of the Great Recession. For the time being, aging in place (or in the home) is the immediate future in the eyes of the federal government. Why do we think this? Look at recent facts:
- Home price declines continue to slow but still going down…according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Price Index that showed prices in 10 major metropolitan areas fell 4.5% in November from a year earlier, while the index for 20 major metropolitan areas dropped 5.3% on the year.
- Single-family home sales fell 7.6% from November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 342,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday
- Sales of previously owned homes fell 16.7% from November to a 5.45 million annual rate according, the National Association of Realtors
The MCTF estimates that an estimated 38 million Americans provide unpaid care to an aging relative, including approximately 23 million caregivers with jobs and 12 million who are also caring for their own children. The $102.5 million Caregiver Initiative will ease the burden on families with elder care responsibilities and allow seniors to live in the community for as long as possible. The Initiative adds $52.5 million in funding to Department of Health and Human Services caregiver support programs that provide temporary respite care, counseling, training, and referrals to critical services. The extra funding will allow nearly 200,000 additional caregivers to be served and 3 million more hours of respite care to be provided. It also adds $50 million to programs that provide transportation help, adult day care, and in-home services, such as aides to help seniors bathe and cook, help which eases the burden for family members and helps seniors stay in their homes.
Can we make senior care part of the economic recovery plan? Yes we can.