In Governor Brown’s proposed FY 2012-13 budget, funding for the 11 state-wide California Caregiver Resource Centers would be completely eliminated.
The Caregiver Resource Centers offer much-needed support in a variety of ways to informal caregivers who are oftentimes overwhelmed, physically, emotionally, and financially, with their caregiver responsibilities.
The California Caregiver Resource Centers are asking family caregivers throughout California to join them in a grass-roots campaign and tell Governor Brown that now is not the time to eliminate funding for California’s families, especially women, who provide the majority of care. California’s senior population is expected to double by 2030 to 8.84 million (18% of California’s population).
Through this grassroots campaign, they are asking Governor Brown and the State Legislature to restore the funding ($2.9 million) to the FY 2012-13 budget.
According to FCA Director Kathleen Kelly in a recent blog post on the California Work and Family Coalition blog,
“The Caregiver Resource Centers are the only program in the state that provides practical information and support every year for over 12,000 caregivers of persons with adult onset brain impairments regardless of age, income or where you live.
The majority of caregivers served by the Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC) are in the workforce, middle income and juggling job, caregiving and other family responsibilities. The CRCs are the eldercare resource information provider for small and medium sized businesses that cannot afford employee assistance programs. And the presence of a trained and supported family caregiver is the best insurance against higher cost medical care and placement in a nursing home.
Quarters for caregivers. Caregivers who are our family members, our neighbors, our friends, our work colleagues and perhaps even ourselves. Now everyone has a story of caregiving. Tell yours to the Governor and legislature. And tell them quarters for caregivers are not enough.”
How you can get involved:
1) The first step is to sign the CRC petition on Change.org. Through this petition, we are demonstrating to Governor Brown and to the California State Legislature that family caregivers should not be expected to take on this challenge alone.
2) Next, share the petition link (http://www.change.org/petitions/dont-balance-californias-budget-on-the-backs-of-family-caregivers) with your friends, family, and networks. Individuals are asked to post a link on their Facebook page and asking friends to sign the link. Organizations could include adding a link to their website and providing a summary in their newsletter.
3) Send a letter to your state elected officials. The California Caregiver Resource Centers will deliver the signatures that we gather to the Governor and the State Legislature, but receiving a letter in the mail is another powerful reminder that caregivers matter.
4) Stay engaged. The CRC’s will call on community support in the coming months, and this could include asking you to make visits to your legislator’s offices, making phone calls, or sending additional letters.
Last year, we learned that this kind of active, growing, sustained advocacy works as the state’s Adult Day Health Centers were brought back from the edge of elimination in this way.
Family Caregiver Alliance will be providing an update on this issue, as well asinformation about on-line resources and support for caregivers, at the May 15th Aging and Disability Technology Summit.
Statistics on caregivers in California: