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N.J. needs tax credit for caregivers of an aging population

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New Jersey has the second-oldest population in the country. They need help. They need care. And the people who care for them need help, too.

Currently, there are 1,750,000 caregivers who provide 1 billion hours of unpaid care each year for friends and loved ones in New Jersey. These caregivers provide care to an estimated 72 % of older people, not in institutions, but in their homes. They are your friends, family members, neighbors. You may well be one, too.

The Caregiver's Assistance Act, sponsored by Donald Norcross and Pamela Lampitt, would provide much-needed helping hand through a modest tax credit to help cover related expenses. What will this mean to caregivers? The “average” caregiver is a 49-year-old woman who works outside the home while spending 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother for five years. This would provide modest, but meaningful financial relief. Two thirds of caregivers are women and more than 68% of care recipients are women. These caregivers certainly deserve some recognition. It's the least we can do.

Lilyan Cralle
AARP advocate volunteer
Willingboro

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