Oregon has an estimated 470,000 unpaid family caregivers providing nearly $5.7 billion worth of care annually. In my work at North End Senior Solutions (NESS) in Lincoln City, I have seen firsthand the financial, physical and emotional stresses family caregivers face providing care to a loved one. Allowing caregivers to get some respite will lead to lower health care costs, better care for their loved ones, and delayed entry in Medicaid and higher levels of care settings.
For these reasons, I urge the Oregon Legislature and my elected officials, Sen. Arnie Roblan and Rep. David Gomberg, to take immediate action and pass Senate Bill 1035. This important legislation will put Oregon on the pathway to providing much-needed respite options for family caregivers.
At the NESS Club, our Adult Day Service, we are proud of the innovative respite services and programs we provide to Oregonians. Unfortunately, caregivers wait until they are totally exhausted before seeking respite care. Caregivers are loving, dedicated and proud; they believe they can do all the care by themselves. Once enrolled in the Adult Day Service, their loved one often sleeps better, eats better and experiences fewer behavior issues.
Recent studies have shown that the only proven way to keep people living at home as they age is through caregiver education and support. All of our programs support family caregivers and their families.
Please join me in urging the Oregon Legislature to pass Senate Bill 1035 and provide Oregon caregivers with the relief they need and deserve.
Jan Molnar-Fitzgerald, Executive Director
North End Senior Solutions (NESS Club)