Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to reintroduce the Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act (S.1351) to provide financial relief to caregivers by creating a tax credit for the costs of caring for an aging relative. The AGE Act would allow families to qualify for a tax credit to help offset expenses—ranging from purchasing assistive technologies and devices, respite care, to making necessary home modifications—of up to $6,000 per year. Klobuchar first introduced the AGE Act in 2015. The bill is also co-sponsored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
“Caring for an aging loved one can be difficult and financially burdensome. Spouses, adult children and other relatives often take up the role of caregivers and provide care without pay or compensation. This bill would provide these caregivers the support they need by creating tax credits to help offset the cost of purchasing assistive devices, providing respite care and making home modifications to care for an elderly family member. Americans shouldn’t have to choose between caring for family or financial ruin, and this bill will help ensure that isn’t the case,” Feinstein said.
“We know that caregiving can be extremely expensive—especially when family members must quit a job or reduce hours in order to provide care,” Klobuchar said. “To help ease the emotional and financial toll, the AGE Act would provide family caregivers with tax credits to offset the costs of care. We have to make sure the millions of family members who serve as caregivers for their aging loved ones are able to not just take care of others, but also themselves.”
“As our community ages, providing caregivers with the resources and support they need to care for their loved ones is important for long-term planning,” Hirono said. “Our caregivers provide an essential service within our health care system, and the AGE Act would help caregivers ease the financial burden of caring for their loved ones. By providing them with this tax credit, we can make sure our caregivers do not have to choose between ensuring stable care for their loved ones and maintaining the health and well-being of their families.”
“It’s a round-the-clock job to care for a loved one, and people often have to put careers on hold or take time away from working to provide that care,” Smith said. “I stand with my fellow Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in fighting for this effort so we can help ease the burden on caregivers in Minnesota and across the country.”
The AGE Act is endorsed by the American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, LeadingAge, and LeadingAge’s Minnesota chapter.
“The American Heart Association is pleased to endorse the Americans Giving Care to Elders (or AGE) Act. Caregivers are indispensable assets to our health care system and often play a significant role in the recovery and well-being of heart disease and stroke survivors. As the nation’s population ages, the need for caregivers will escalate. This legislation is a critical first step to ensuring that those who care for elderly parents or relatives have the resources necessary to maintain the health and wellbeing of their families. We applaud Sen. Klobuchar for her leadership on this important issue,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.
"On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's, and the 16 million more providing unpaid care, we applaud Senator Klobuchar for her leadership introducing the AGE Act," said Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association Chief Public Policy Officer and Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) Executive Director. "Alzheimer's is a devastating disease for the individual living with the disease as well as their caregivers. Caregivers of people living with dementia are twice as likely to report substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties. This bill would provide some financial relief to families caring for loved ones and provide them with peace of mind."
“The cost of unpaid family caregiving is estimated to total about $470 million every year,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “Many of these caregivers sacrifice wages, retirement savings and, in some cases, their own health in order to support aging relatives. LeadingAge applauds Sen. Klobuchar for her leadership on this issue that is so important to older adults and their families.”
“More and more family members are serving in the role as caregivers for their elderly family members, and those numbers will only grow as our baby boomer population ages. We applaud Senator Klobuchar’s continued leadership on programs that recognize and support family caregivers. We strongly support the AGE Act as it will help reduce the financial burden for adult children who help care for aging family members and provide education, support and respite to family caregivers,” said LeadingAge Minnesota President & CEO Gayle Kvenvold.