2016 Regular Session
By: Representative Rushing
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND SUPPORTING THE CAREGIVERS TASK FORCE FOR PROVIDING THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE SENIOR CITIZENS AND INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS THE APPROPRIATE AND ADEQUATE LEVEL OF CARE.
WHEREAS, family caregivers play a vital role in enabling frail seniors, people with serious health challenges, persons with special needs and others requiring assistance with activities of daily living to remain in their homes; and
WHEREAS, enabling people to remain at home for as long as possible is both more compassionate and more affordable than institutional care, which comes at a high cost, often supported by taxes; and
WHEREAS, in Mississippi, 800,000 family caregivers provide 373 million hours of care, an economic value of nearly 5 million dollars valued at $11.53 per hour; and
WHEREAS, by 2030, the percentage of individuals in Mississippi over the age of 65 is expected to rise to 25 percent or one in four individuals, with the 85-plus group the fastest growing group, expected to increase to 147 percent by 2040; and
WHEREAS, over 30 percent of adults 60-plus have one or more disabilities, including disabilities that affect self-care; and
WHEREAS, medical advances allow millions to live much longer with chronic illnesses, increasing the requirement for caregiving; and
WHEREAS, the stress imposed on families by caregiving is a health risk factor that warrants attention as a public health issue; and
WHEREAS, caregiving imposes significant financial burdens on both caregivers and employers, affecting the economy and contributing to the impoverishment of families; and
WHEREAS, nationally, caregiver services were valued at 470 billion dollars per year in 2013; and
WHEREAS, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that one in nine Americans aged 65 and older are affected with the condition; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to recognize contributions to the health and well-being of Mississippians of all ages and abilities such as that of the Caregivers Task Force, which has worked tirelessly to ensure that the elderly and those living with special needs receive the proper level of care in an effective and dignified manner:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do recognize and support the important role that family caregivers play in Mississippi and we support policies and initiatives to provide the support and training needed to make family caregiving more feasible, affordable and effective.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage efforts at the state and national level to analyze population demographic trends to determine both current and future service requirements for care recipients and caregivers, and to permit data-driven policy and program recommendations about our aging populations and the workforce development needed to empower those who need care to heal, age and live in peace.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage employers to establish policies that recognize the impact that caregiving can have on workers, encouraging employers to find ways to support their workers during difficult family times, and we encourage the creation of volunteer "Caregiver Corps" to provide nonmedical assistance and companionship to frail elders and others with disability at no public expense.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Caregivers Task Force member Spencer Blalock, the Mississippi Department of Health and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.