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Anne Rabin and LaVerne Jaros: Governor's budget supports caregiving

Anne Rabin and LaVerne Jaros: Governor's budget supports caregiving

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Caregiving is a daughter’s attempt to leave work early so she can dress and drive her mother with dementia to a doctor appointment and still catch her daughter’s baseball game.

It is a father’s rush from work, again, to help de-escalate his son’s spiraling behavior at a day program for persons with cognitive disabilities.

It’s helping grandpa with meals, medicines, home maintenance and finances.

Caregiving is also the work of a professional trying to support the daily living needs of residents in her under-staffed long term care facility or providing in-home care visits in the midst of a pandemic.

Individuals who need care, their families and their care workers are at breaking points. That is why Governor Evers formed a task force on caregiving which released a report, "Wisconsin Caregivers in Crisis: Investing in Our Future."

Having seen other reports land on dusty shelves, we were delighted, as members of this task force, to learn that the majority of our recommendations were included in the governor’s 2021-2023 budget. They include proposals related to family caregiving, direct workforce rates and benefits, and untapped workers. There are provisions to expand the support of Aging and Disability Resource Centers for family caregivers of adults with disabilities and with dementia. The budget also calls for establishing a home care provider registry where care workers and persons needing care may connect.

It could do this with little cost to Wisconsin taxpayers if the legislature would agree to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars. We urge Wisconsin to support the people who do the care.

Anne Rabin and LaVerne Jaros, Pleasant Prairie

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