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 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.
Across America, 40 million family caregivers help parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities and other loved ones to live independently. They prepare meals, handle finances, manage medications, drive to doctors’ appointments, help with bathing and dressing, perform complex medical tasks and more, all so loved ones can live at home. They spend an estimated 37 billion hours annually delaying or preventing more costly care and unnecessary hospitalizations.
The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028/H.R. 3759) would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop, maintain and update a strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. The bill would bring representatives from the private and public sectors, such as family caregivers; older adults and persons with disabilities; veterans; providers of health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS); employers; state and local officials; and others together to advise and make recommendations regarding this new strategy.
“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,” said Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer.
The goals of the strategy include identifying actions that government, communities, health providers, employers and others can take to support family caregivers, including:
- Promoting greater adoption of person-centered care and family-centered care in health settings and long-term care settings
- Training for family caregivers
- Respite options for family caregivers
- Ways to increase financial security for family caregivers
- Workplace policies to help family caregivers keep working
- Collecting and sharing of information about innovative family caregiving models
- Assessing federal programs around family caregiving
- Addressing disparities and meeting the needs of the diverse caregiving population