On September 17, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced the “Caregiver Corps Act of 2014″ (S.2842) to the U.S. Senate for future consideration. Home caregivers may be interested in following the progress of this bill through the legislative system.
What is it?
The Caregiver Corps Acts of 2014 is intended to “amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a Caregiver Corps program” which is designed to “foster the creation of community-based Corps programs that provide for volunteer community service opportunities to address the shortage of assistance available for older adults and individuals with disabilities.”
In other words, this bill hope to create a new network of local Caregiver Corps that would enlist volunteer support from community members to provide assistance to seniors and disabled individuals in and around that community. Needless to say, such a program could be a boon to home caregivers, who often find themselves overburdened with the responsibilities attendant upon them.
In order to provide quality assurance, the bill proposes that these local Caregiver Corps would be given screening (e.g., criminal background checks) and then be given training in order to provide assistance in basic tasks. These volunteers might be able to help out in meal preparation, transportation, simple home repairs, etc. They would not be responsible for or trained in medical tasks.
The bill also encourages the development of a system of rewards for volunteers, such as community service credit for students.
Senator Casey and other supporters of the bill have introduced it in response to the increasing need for senior care assistance, especially in situations in which home caregivers are called upon to devote significant amounts of time to basic caregiving tasks and activities. The bill discusses the fact that more than 43,000,000 Americans are 65 years old or older and that 75% of this population live with chronic conditions requiring assistance.
Home caregivers or seniors wishing to read the full text of the bill can download a pdf version of it by clicking here.