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Sen. Knopp among lawmakers honored for championing caregivers

CLACKAMAS, Ore. - AARP Oregon on Friday named "Capitol Caregivers" of 2017 in recognition of their support family caregivers in Oregon. Honored for the legislative efforts are Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Sen. Jackie Winters, Sen. Richard Devlin, Sen. Tim Knopp, Rep. Nancy Nathanson, Rep. Dan Rayfield, and Rep. Greg Smith.

These leaders advanced policies to support Oregon's family caregivers, who help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently at home and in the community--where they want to be.

"AARP thanks Senators Steiner Hayward, Winters, Devlin and Knopp, and Representatives Nathanson, Rayfield and Smith for championing the preservation of funding for long term supports and services that help to keep Oregonians in their own homes this year," says Jerry Cohen, state director of AARP Oregon. "They provided key leadership to pass a budget this year that does not cut critical services for older Oregonians and helped make the big responsibilities of family caregivers a little bit easier."

The state budget that passed during the 2017 legislative session prevented proposed cuts to programs like Oregon Project Independence, which provides basic help to older families to help keep people in their own homes. The budget also protected funding for family caregiver training programs and the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon (ADRC) that helps people find appropriate care, supports, and resources.

Across Oregon, about 470,00 Oregonians provide unpaid care for their older parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities, and other loved ones-- valued at about $5.7 billion annually. They help with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, managing finances, transportation, grocery shopping and more.

"Family caregivers provide invaluable care to their loved ones," says Cohen. "And they need our support."

AARP Oregon will present the Capitol Caregiver awards to these legislators January 11 during legislative days at the State Capitol in Salem.

"Funding long term supports and services is just a first step to providing help for family caregivers," says Cohen. "AARP will continue to fight for Oregon's family caregivers and their loved ones in 2018: for more support, help at home, workplace flexibility, training, relief and more.


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