AARP welcomes this week’s 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. The legislation requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. The bill now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

“There are over 66,000 unpaid caregivers in Wyoming and over 40 million people nationwide,” said AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway. “Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in Wyoming. 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.”

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.

In Wyoming

The RAISE Act is not the only effort by AARP to support caregivers in Wyoming and around the nation. Closer to home, AARP Wyoming aided Wyoming caregivers by passing the CARE Act during the 2016 Legislative session unanimously, making it the 21st state to pass such legislation.

The CARE Act is a common sense solution to help those caring for family members or loved ones.. The law ensures family caregivers have key support as their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires hospitals to:

  • Record the name of a caregiver on the medical record of your loved one;
  • Inform caregivers when your loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home;
  • Give caregivers education and instruction of the medical tasks you will need to perform at home, like managing medication or giving injections.

A CARE Act Tip sheet for Wyoming caregivers can be found here.

In addition, AARP’s national website offers resources for caregivers including caregiving basics, an online community for caregivers, financial and legal resources, as well as help in navigating physician and emotional health issues. That page can be found here.

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