Under the Dome

Advocates for the elderly lobby NC legislators

Advocates for older residents are lobbying legislators Tuesday for more support for family care givers.

Representatives from 30 groups are expected. The state AARP chapter is coming armed with poll results that show voter support for programs that help family members who care for older people living at home.

A survey last November of voters 45 and older found that 57 percent were or had been providing care for an elderly family member. Nearly 70 percent of those people said they would support the state increasing funding for home and community based services, even if it meant increasing taxes, according to the survey.

Precision Opinion conducted the survey of voters 45 years old and older from Nov. 10-14 using a questionnaire AARP prepared. The survey has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

AARP wants the legislature to restore $970,000 was cut from a block grant that helps support programs such as home-delivered meals, in-home aid and transportation.

“If you don’t support families that provide 80 percent of the care to folks, the state will have a bigger Medicaid bill,” said Mary Bethel, an AARP lobbyist.

AARP is also pushing for a law that would allow workers to use sick leave to tend to older relatives’ emergencies.