Originally Posted on February 24, 2016 

Legislation introduced today instructs City to find ways to assist New Yorkers struggling to take care of aging family members

In the latest effort to address the needs of a growing senior population, Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Lower Manhattan), Council Member Debi Rose (D-North Shore/Staten Island) and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito introduced legislation today that would call on the City to develop a comprehensive plan to address the needs of a growing number of informal caregivers.

“This comprehensive plan will provide a roadmap for the creation of vital assistance programs for over 1 million New Yorkers struggling to take care of their aging family members,” said Council Member Chin, chair of the Council’s Committee on Aging. “These caregivers spend almost every day juggling numerous responsibilities, including taking care of loved ones who are afflicted with illnesses that require intensive health services like Alzheimer’s and other related diseases. I want to thank Council Member Rose for joining me in this legislative effort and Speaker Mark-Viverito for leading the way in the fight on behalf of the growing number of seniors in our City.”

“As elected officials, we recognize that more and more New Yorkers are caring for children and elderly parents while juggling other family and professional responsibilities,” said Council Member Rose. “That is why I sponsored the Caregiver Discrimination Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, and this bill, which will require the city to recognize the unique needs of caregivers. I want to thank my colleagues Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Margaret Chin for their ongoing dedication to our seniors and those who care for them. Together, we will ensure that the city develops a comprehensive plan that outlines how we can better reach out to this growing population of New Yorkers.”

There are over 4 million informal caregivers in New York State who are providing unpaid care to a loved one, with over 1.5 million in New York City alone, according to the Department for the Aging. Nearly 3 of 5 caregivers in the State continue to work while providing elder care.

The legislation, Intro 1081, calls for the city Department for the Aging to create a survey for informal caregivers, public and private providers, and service recipients. Under the legislation, the department would have to deliver a comprehensive plan to the Mayor and Council by February 2017 and publish the plan on its website.

The report would include recommendations on how to address issues and concerns with existing programs and services, how to increase volunteers to support caregivers, ways to expand education and training for caregivers, and other programs to provide much-needed support to informal caregivers.

Council Member Chin also joined the Speaker today to introduce a Council resolution, Res. 993, that calls upon the State Legislature to expand the New York City child care tax credit by increasing the income threshold for the City Credit, matching the City Credit to 100 percent of the State Credit, and allowing caregivers to claim the expenses incurred from taking care of their adult dependent. This change will be crucial to help alleviate the burden on individuals who work nonstop at their jobs and then at home to provide for their loved ones.