Bipartisan law to establish a national strategy to support family caregivers is endorsed by over 60 aging and disability organizations
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are applauding yesterday’s Signing of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act into law. This bipartisan law establishes a national strategy to support family caregivers across the country.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act directs 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. The bipartisan law is endorsed by over 60 aging and disability organizations, including the AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Arc.
“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 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 has been signed into law. Family caregivers across America will now receive the much-needed recognition they deserve as well as the resources and training needed to better balance the full-time job of caregiving along with everything else that life brings.”
“When we work together across party lines we can get things done. 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. 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,” said Senator Baldwin. “Every day, family caregivers do right by their loved ones, and I am proud to say we are doing right by them with the RAISE Family Caregivers Act being signed into law to formally recognize and support family caregivers across this country.”
“Signing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act into law is an important step in supporting the nation’s 40 million family caregivers who take care of loved ones, many of them elderly, often with very little support or resources available to them,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “With the rapid growth of our aging population, it’s reasonable to say that many of us will end up either being a caregiver, or needing one. As a result, the potential benefits of this legislation are both critical and wide reaching.”
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028) 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), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Angus King (I-ME).
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.
Learn more about the RAISE Family Caregivers Act here.