There are 1.75 million family caregivers in New Jersey who provide more than 1 billion hours of unpaid care each year to help an aging loved one live independently at home. Families are the bedrock of our long term care health care system.
While invaluable in myriad of ways, in terms of dollars and cents, the value to our society of the hours of support being provided by family caregivers would come out to equal $13 billion a year. However, caring for an older family member can create a financial strain for many families, who often spend thousands in out-of-pocket-dollars in the process of being caregivers. And with the expected increase in our aging population, it is time to recognize the value of family caregivers and provide a little help.
AARP commends Senator Norcross and Assemblywoman Lampitt for their sponsorship of the N.J. Caregiver’s Assistance Act which, if enacted, will provide a state income tax credit to eligible family caregivers who are caring for an aging relative living at home. The bill recently passed the Senate’s Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee and we thank the Committee’s Chairman, Joseph Vitale, for posting and supporting the bill.
Jim DieterleState DirectorAARP New Jersey