For the past several years, AARP has worked hard to provide family caregivers with resources that can make their duties easier. New Mexico Caregiver Leave Act passed during the last legislative session and is one item that can significantly help working family caregivers.
State Director of AARP New Mexico Buffie Saavedra explains that the Act was passed to ensure that individuals who have sick leave available from their employers can use that leave for caregiving for a family member whether they live with them or not. This includes travel to doctors appointments, picking up prescriptions, etc.
This is critical for caregivers who would otherwise have to leave work or lose employment if they are active in caregiving.
Cabinet Secretary of the Aging and Long-term Services Department Alice McCoy explains that her department exists to support the most vulnerable people within New Mexico including those with disabilities and the elderly.
She says their primary way to support caregivers is through their Aging and Disability Resource Center which offers a hotline at 1-800-432-2080 as well as online and a walk-in center. Those at the ADRC can assist with advice on benefits counseling, care transition, as well as additional resources.
On August 13 and 14 the AARP will hold their 41st Annual New Mexico Conference on Aging at the Sandia Resort & Casino. This event will offer older adults, caregivers, and professionals a chance to learn about available resources and to also have fun in an environment that supports independence.