National strategy to support family caregivers advances

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) this week applauded the passage of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act in the U.S. Senate. Her bipartisan legislation to establish a national strategy to support family caregivers now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States.

This bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by over 60 aging and disability organizations, including the AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Arc.

“Every day, family caregivers do right by their loved ones, and I am proud to say we are doing right by them by passing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act to formally recognize and support family caregivers across this country,” said Senator Baldwin.

“This bipartisan effort is especially personal to me as I was raised by my maternal grandparents and later served as my grandmother’s primary caretaker as she grew older.

“I know the challenges that family caregivers face. I’ve listened to family caregivers across Wisconsin and I will keep working to help make a difference in their lives.

“This reform will provide much-needed support for family caregivers and help ensure that our older adults and loved ones with disabilities receive the highest quality care in their own homes.

“When we work together across party lines we can get things done and I look forward to seeing President Trump sign this bipartisan legislation into law as soon as possible.”

“Family caregivers play an essential role in our communities by dedicating time and attention and making countless personal and financial sacrifices to care for their loved ones,” said Senator Susan Collins.

“I am delighted that our bipartisan legislation to develop a coordinated strategic plan to leverage our resources, promote best practices, and expand services and training available to caregivers will now become law.

“This law will provide family caregivers across America with the much-needed recognition they deserve as well as the resources and training they need to better balance the full-time job of caregiving along with everything else that life brings.”

“Thanks to the efforts of bipartisan Senate champions—Senators Collins and Baldwin—the RAISE Family Caregivers Act will help address the challenges family caregivers face,” said AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. Lea- Mond.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in America. We need to make it easier for them to coordinate care for their loved ones, get information and resources, and take a break so they can rest and recharge.”

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act was supported by a broad bipartisan coalition of cosponsors including Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (DMA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

Important Facts on Family Caregivers:

• 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care in 2013.

• Many caregivers are putting their own health at risk since caregivers experience high levels of stress and have a greater incidence of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and depression.

• Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, and as many as 90 percent of them have one or more chronic health conditions.

• Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the aging population. This population is most at risk for multiple and interacting health problems that can lead to disability and the need for round-the-clock care.


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