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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

Health care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Where Clinton and Trump Stand on Long-Term Care

October 14, 2016 04:32 PM

We are now less than one month from the 2016 general election so NAHC Report would like to highlight the relevant policy positions of the two major candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. This article is not meant to serve as any form of voting or political advocacy; it is intended solely for the purpose of providing information to our readers.

The most recent estimates show about 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided approximately 37 billion hours of care to adults in 2013, according to a report released by the AARP’s Public Policy Institute. The estimated economic value of the unpaid contributions of family caregivers was about $470 billion in 2013, up from approximately $450 billion in 2009.

However, the ratio of potential family caregivers to the growing number of older people is in a precipitous decline. In 2010, there were seven potential caregivers available for each person 80 or older; by 2030 there will be only four, and by 2050, when baby boomers are between 86 and 104, there will be fewer than three.

Caring for an elderly or disabled relative carries a financial toll, both in terms of lost income and additional expenses. Those who care for people with Alzheimer’s disease typically spend more than $50,000 a year on expenses related to their duties.

About eight million people received long-term care services in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but that number will only increase in the coming years, as millions of baby boomers enter their golden years. Sixty nine percent of people at least 65 years old will develop a disability, many of whom will require long-term care.

On the subject of the cost of long-term care, both candidates are a bit light on the details, which is common during election races. The Republican platform mentions long-term care once: “As the dominant force in the health market with regard to long-term care, births, and persons with mental illness, (Medicaid) is the next frontier of welfare reform. It is simply too big and too flawed to be administered from Washington.”

A Clinton fact sheetnotes that nearly seven in ten people turning 65 will need long-term care, so the candidate has proposed a tax break for caregivers and the Social Security adjustment. Of course, this would do little to help families who face difficulties paying for nursing care or assisted living. The Democratic platform does address the issue in a section entitled “Ensuring Long-Term Care, Services and Supports.” After noting that the vast majority of people who are aging or living with disability wish to do so at home, the platform promises that “Democrats will take steps to strengthen and expand the home care workforce, give seniors and people with disabilities access to quality, affordable long-term care, services and supports, and ensure that all of these resources are readily available at home or in the community.”

As noted above, many caregivers are forced to take time off from work or quit their jobs entirely. This results in lost wages and reduced Social Security retirement benefits. Trump appears to have made no comments about caregiving, but there is one mention of homecare in the Republican platform. It reads: “Our aging population must have access to safe and affordable care. Because most seniors desire to age at home, we will make homecare a priority in public policy and implement programs to protect against elder abuse.” No mention is made of lost wages or Social Security benefits, though that portion of the platform does include language against taxes.

Clinton would increase Social Security benefits for people who take time off from jobs to be caregivers. “Americans should receive credit toward their Social Security benefits when they are out of the paid workforce because they are acting as caregivers,” she told the American Association of Retired Persons.

Clinton also favors a tax break for people caring for aging parents and/or grandparents that would allow a family caregiver to deduct 20 percent of caregiving expenses, up to $6000 per year, for a total tax savings of up to $1200. “The lost wages and the work that is sometimes given up are costing families – especially women, who make up the majority of both paid and unpaid caregivers,” Clinton told the Associated Press. Clinton’s proposal would not apply to caregivers who are caring for a spouse.

NAHC has a long-held position in support of improved caregiver support through respite care and tax incentives for family caregivers.

Trump promises the option of opening dependent care savings accounts (DCSA) so people can plan for future expenses relating to child and elder care. Annual contributions to the DCSA would be limited to $2000 per year, but it would not be taxed and balances in a DCSA would roll over from year to year. The Trump plan would also allow an above-the-line deduction for elder care costs necessary to keep a family member working outside the home.

A topic of considerable concern to many caregivers is paid family leave. Trump has not spoken in any detail on this subject, though he did say to Fox News that the subject is “being discussed. I think we have to keep our country very competitive, so you have to be careful of it, but certainly there are a lot of people discussing it.”

The Democratic party platform favors “passing a family and medical leave act that would provide all workers with at least 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or address a  personal or family member’s serious health issue.” The Democrats promise to “ensure that family caregivers have the support, respite care, and training they need to support their loved ones. We will create a strong, stable, paid caregiving workforce to help meet families’ needs, by raising wages, improving access to training…”

Clinton also favors a substantial increase in federal spending on the Lifespan Respite Care program, which provides funds to states to assist family caregivers taking time off from work. The program spent $2 million in 2015, but Clinton proposes to increase spending to $10 million per year.




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