Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0506
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Full Text of HR0506  103rd General Assembly



HR0506LRB103 35245 LAW 65244 r


2    WHEREAS, Family caregivers providing care to loved ones
3help make it possible for older adults, people with
4disabilities, and veterans to live independently in their
5homes and communities, and they are the backbone of the care
6system in Illinois and across the United States; and
7    WHEREAS, AARP, a national nonprofit dedicated to
8empowering people to choose how they live as they age, has
9released data to show the significant challenges family
10caregivers experience; and
11    WHEREAS, There are approximately 1.3 million family
12caregivers in Illinois; and
13    WHEREAS, Family caregivers in the State provide an
14estimated 1.21 billion hours of unpaid care annually at an
15economic value of $21 billion; and
16    WHEREAS, Providing care to a loved one can create a
17financial challenge for family caregivers, with them spending
18more than $7,200 per year in out-of-pocket costs on average
19nationally, or a quarter of their income on caregiving
20activities, with African American and Hispanic/Latino
21caregivers on average spending a higher percentage of their



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1income on caregiving responsibilities; and
2    WHEREAS, Family caregivers include all unpaid individuals
3of all ages who are caring for individuals with disabilities,
4chronic or other health conditions, and/or functional
5limitations; and
6    WHEREAS, Family caregivers, who perform a wide range of
7care, from providing assistance with a variety of activities
8such as meal preparation, bathing, dressing, transportation,
9and managing finances to handling more intensive tasks such as
10nursing and wound care, medication management, and care
11coordination, are vital to enabling older adults and persons
12with disabilities to remain living in their homes and
13communities; and
14    WHEREAS, Despite the fact that providing care in homes and
15communities is generally less costly than providing care in
16institutional settings, financial strains associated with
17family caregiving arise from several factors, and these may
18include needing to cut back on hours at work, taking unpaid
19leave, retiring early, or even quitting a job; and
20    WHEREAS, In the workplace, family caregivers often face
21loss of earnings, job insecurity, and a lack of promotions,
22health insurance, and employer retirement contributions; and



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1    WHEREAS, Many family caregivers report that financial
2challenges from caregiving have caused them to resort to
3adverse financial strategies, such as withdrawing savings,
4cutting back on their own health care spending, decreasing
5contributions towards retirement, and taking loans to make
6ends meet; and
7    WHEREAS, The emotional toll of family caregivers rises
8when the responsibilities of the caregiver role increase,
9including the amount and duration of care and the performance
10of medical or nursing duties, in addition to the perceived
11lack of choice in taking on the caregiver role; and
12    WHEREAS, Chronic stress caused by family caregiving may
13have negative health impacts on the caregiver which may result
14in depression, psychological distress, decreased self-care,
15and poorer physical health; and
16    WHEREAS, Caregiver training, respite care, and other
17supports are powerful tools that make an intensely difficult
18job easier and enable family caregivers to carry on with their
19responsibilities, prevent burnout and injury, and better
20manage the variety of duties they take on in order to provide
21the best possible care to their loved ones; and



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1    WHEREAS, It is important for Illinois to be committed to
2enacting solutions to support family caregivers in their
3efforts to provide care to loved ones, allowing residents to
4safely and comfortably age in their own homes, helping to
5preserve communities, and avoiding the expense of
6institutional care; and
7    WHEREAS, Demand for these programs is high, but funding is
8limited, and more needs to be done to improve the plight of
9family caregivers; and
10    WHEREAS, It is imperative to understand, recognize, and
11support the compassionate and difficult work done by family
12caregivers in Illinois and throughout the U.S.; and
13    WHEREAS, The Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition was
14created in December 2021 and now includes over 300 members who
15make up a diverse representation of unpaid, informal
16caregivers and organizations who serve and/or interact with
17unpaid family caregivers across the State; and
18    WHEREAS, The Illinois Area Agencies on Aging have
19developed a statewide network of caregiver resource centers to
20serve unpaid family and informal caregivers; and
21    WHEREAS, The Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition and the



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1Illinois Area Agencies on Aging were selected to represent
2Illinois and were recognized at the inaugural National Family
3Caregiver Conference in Washington, D.C. in late October 2023,
4with Illinois being one of only 10 states invited to
5participate in this national conference and advocacy day;
6therefore, be it
9we urge the passage of important policies to better support
10family caregivers, particularly by enacting policies that:
11        (1) Provide increased funding for Illinois' Community
12    Care Program, Home Delivered Meals, the Illinois Family
13    Caregiver Act, Illinois Area Agencies on Aging, Illinois
14    Case Coordination Units, Long-Term and Home Care
15    Ombudsman, and other older adult programs and resources
16    for Illinois caregivers at the Illinois Department on
17    Aging and other State agencies, and examine policy changes
18    to improve the navigability of these resources;
19        (2) Improve the inclusion of family caregivers in
20    their loved one's care and hospital discharge and
21    planning, and provide them with the education, training,
22    and support they need, including as their loved one moves
23    from one place of care to another, in Hospital at Home
24    programs, in Medicare more broadly, and in measures of
25    provider engagement with and in support of family



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1    caregivers and family caregivers' experience of care and
2    support, and support veterans and their caregivers;
3        (3) Increase access to options and eligibility for
4    care at home, including but not limited to providing
5    permanent financial protections for the spouses of
6    individuals receiving Medicaid Home and Community Based
7    Services, incentivizing Home and Community Based Services
8    expansion, expanding caregiver and senior support options
9    and resources in the State's Community Care Program, and
10    more;
11        (4) Attract and retain direct care workers through
12    increased pay and benefits, improved training, career
13    pathways, and other job improvement initiatives; and
14        (5) Provide financial relief for family caregivers,
15    such as through a family caregiver income tax credit, to
16    help offset a portion of caregiving expenses paid by
17    caregivers; and be it further
18    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
19delivered to all Illinois constitutional officers, the Speaker
20and Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives,
21and the President and Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate.