AARP advocacy volunteers from New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties met with state officials March 13 for AARP’s Annual Advocacy Day. The day began with a motivational session and words from Gov. John Carney. The group gave the AARP Capitol Caregivers Award to Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, and Rep. Deborah Heffernan, D-Bellefonte. AARP recognizes state legislators from both sides of the aisle with this award for their work to support and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities.
AARP’s Advocacy Day coincided with the introduction of Share the Care or Senate Bill 27, which will make it possible for a direct care worker, or aide, to give medication at the direction of a family member. Delaware law does not currently allow for this. The family caregiver often has to miss work time to run home and administer medicine, or the patient is forced to miss necessary doses of medication. Share the Care would help support Delaware’s 123,000 caregivers and improve quality of life for patients and caregivers.
AARP advocacy volunteers represent not only 185,000 AARP members in the First State, but also Delawareans ages 50 and older, who have a high voting turnout rate. During the 2016 elections, more than 90 percent of registered voters over age 50 went to the polls.
Volunteers’ goals were to increase awareness and support for Share the Care act, and to thank members of Delaware’s House and Senate for all they do for their constituents ages 50 and older.
AARP State President George Meldrum said, “When we visit with our legislators during our AARP Advocacy Day, we have an opportunity to build and solidify relationships. We also can make them aware of issues that are bubbling up in communities.”