WASHINGTON, DC—AARP welcomes passage in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3759). The legislation, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and in the U.S. House by Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL), requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers.
“Thanks to the efforts of bipartisan Senate and House champions—Senators Collins and Baldwin and Representatives Harper and Castor—the RAISE Family Caregivers Act will help address the challenges family caregivers face,” said AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond. “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.”
Every day, millions of Americans provide care for parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities and other loved ones to help them live independently in their homes and communities. Family caregivers take on a range of tasks including managing medications, helping with bathing and dressing, preparing and feeding meals, arranging transportation, and handling financial and legal matters. The unpaid care that family caregivers provide helps delay or prevent costly nursing home care, which is often paid for by Medicaid.
In addition to requiring the development of a strategy to support the nation’s family caregivers, the bill also establishes an advisory body that will bring together stakeholders from the private and public sectors to make recommendations that communities, providers, government, and others are taking and may take to help make the big responsibilities of caregiving a little bit easier.
The bill heads next to the President for his signature.