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AARP: Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus Stands Up for 50+ Issues

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SOURCE AARP New York

NYS Legislative Caucus Backs Increased Aid for Unpaid Family Caregivers, Non-Parent Relatives Raising Children

ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP today thanked the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus for supporting issues critical to New York's most powerful voting demographic, the 50+, including aid for unpaid family caregivers and increased funding for non-parent relatives raising children.

Those two issues are among AARP's 2014 legislative priorities because they're among the top concerns of the more than 2.7 million AARP members in New York.

The Caucus stated support for the two issues in "The People's Priorities 2014," issued during its annual conference weekend at the state Capitol complex.

"AARP thanks the Caucus and its chair, Assemblyman Karim Camara, for prioritizing issues that are critical to all New Yorkers 50 and older," said Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP in New York State. "Action starts with recognition, and we are very pleased to see the Caucus recognizing that our state's unpaid family caregivers and the many thousands of New Yorkers raising children whose parents are unable need more help."

Over four million New Yorkers provide care valued at $32 billion to frail elderly parents, spouses and other loved ones each year. AARP is calling for increased funding for non-Medicaid, in-home services that help sustain caregivers and allow older New Yorkers to age at home, rather than in more expensive, taxpayer-funded nursing homes.

The Caucus supports restoring critical aid to unpaid family caregivers in areas impacted by population changes. AARP is calling for an additional $26 million to ensure in-home services to at least 7,000 older New Yorkers across the state who qualify but are stuck on waiting lists.

More than a third of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American New York City voters 50 and older have provided unpaid care to an adult family member or friend in the last five years, according to a recent AARP survey. Over 80 percent of them reported the caregiving caused financial, emotional or workplace stress.

U.S. Census data show that more than 400,000 children in New York state are being raised by aunts, uncles, adult siblings, grandparents and other non-parent relatives, who provide a solid foundation and stable home but need help.

In New York City, 4.3 percent of all households have a grandparent living in the home with a grandchild. Of co-residing grandparents in the city, 27 percent are African-American. And of them, 37 percent are responsible for providing basic care for grandchildren in the home.

Among co-residing grandparent households in New York City, 12 percent are below the poverty line.

AARP is calling on the state to fully fund kinship care, a cost-effective alternative to foster care that studies show provides as good if not better  positive outcomes.

The Caucus supports increased aid for valuable support services including counseling, legal information, support groups, parenting skills and education.

Follow us on Twitter:  @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Espanol, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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