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$181 Million to Support Family Caregivers Clears Senate Following Senator Collins’ Advocacy

Washington, D.C.—More than 40 million Americans—including 178,000 Mainers—provide more than $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care each year for parents, spouses, children, and other relatives with disabilities or illness. 


To support these devoted family members, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and a champion of caregivers, announced today that the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill that recently passed the Senate provides $181 million for the National Family Caregiver Support Program.  The funding includes a $300,000 increase for the creation of a Family Caregiving Council to implement the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, a new law Senator Collins authored that will establish a coordinated strategy to support family caregivers. 


“Family caregivers play an essential role in our communities by dedicating time and attention and making countless personal and financial sacrifices to ensure their loved ones can receive the care they need at home,” said Senator Collins.  “I am pleased that this funding bill includes robust support for these selfless individuals to help ensure they have the resources they need.”


Family caregivers take on such tasks as managing medications, helping with bathing and dressing, preparing meals, arranging transportation, and handling financial and legal matters.  This unpaid care helps delay or prevent costly nursing home care, which is often paid for by Medicaid.  Many family caregivers put their own health at risk, experiencing higher levels of stress and a greater incidence of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and depression.


The FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill now heads to a conference committee to reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.


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