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Lujan Grisham to launch caregiver’s caucus in DC

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a former New Mexico Secretary of Aging, next week will launch a bipartisan congressional caucus aimed at bringing more attention to the plight of those caring for aging family members.

I’m told that Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., will join with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., as well as Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., at noon on Tuesday in the Capitol Visitors Center to launch the Assisting Caregivers Today – or ACT – Caucus. The group intends to “bring greater attention to family caregiving, to educate Congress on the issues involved in caregiving and helping people live independently, and to engage Members of Congress on a bipartisan basis,” according to a notification I received today from the American Association of Retired Persons.

“Everyone has a caregiving story and everyone has a sense of the challenges and rewards of caregiving, but technical health care advances and societal changes mean that today’s caregivers have heavier responsibilities than caregivers in years past,” the notice said. “They juggle their own paid jobs and family responsibilities with nursing tasks like tube feedings or IV port management. Meanwhile, the ratio of available family and friends available to provide care will plummet as the boomers age.

Lujan Grisham is familiar with the challenges faced by caregivers, having cared for her aging mother and ill sister, and having served as New Mexico Secretary of Aging. I’m also told that AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins will address the findings of a new poll of family caregivers at an event in the Capitol next week.