Representatives of New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition (NMDCC) met with U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s staff on the critical and growing availability of affordable long-term services.

Members raised concerns of the need to support home and professional caregivers who do this crucial work.

The NMDCC delegation represents family and professional caregivers and advocates for programs and policies that advance the field of direct care and the quality of services of those they serve. The meeting with Senator Udall’s staff included care recipients from the developmental disabilities and elderly services systems too.

Direct care workforce needs in New Mexico, like the nation, are among the top two fastest-growing occupations. As baby boomers age and people with disabilities are increasingly integrated into our communities, the availability of affordable long-term home care can mean the difference between living safely at home as a member of the community or having to move into an institutionalized setting. The New Mexico Direct Caregivers Coalition, along with Direct Care Alliance and hundreds of other organizations across the country, is part of a national coalition called Caring Across Generations, a campaign to transform long-term care in the United States.

Members of the delegation also urged Senator Udall’s support for legislation expected to be introduced soon expressing a sense of the Senate that a comprehensive approach to expanding and supporting a strong home care workforce, and making long-term services and supports affordable and accessible in communities, is necessary to uphold the right of seniors and individuals with disabilities in the United States to a dignified quality of life.

NMDCC’s work at the national level will continue later this spring at a Federal policy briefing on long-term care in Washington, D.C. The organization expects to be involved in developing and supporting solutions at the national and state levels to improve long-term care and the workforce that provides these invaluable services to those in our state who are elderly and those with disabilities.

From left: Paula Sutherland, family caregiver; Paula’s son, Samuel; Reverend Holly Beaumont, Interfaith Worker Justice; Sarah Cobb, Field Representative, U.S. Senator Tom Udall; Adrienne R. Smith, President and CEO, NMDCC; Iliana Lopez, Secretary, NMDCC; (not pictured) Richard J. Bela, senior citizen and Volunteer, NMDCC.

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