Statement on the Passage of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act

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As family caregiver advocates for 40 years, Family Caregiver Alliance recognizes the passage of the federal Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act as critical to the creation of a strategy to acknowledge and aid unpaid family caregivers on a national level.

We wish to thank Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) for their bi-partisan efforts to pass the RAISE Act.

The RAISE Act is an important step toward more fully recognizing the impending crisis in caregiving as the aging population continues to grow. As improved guidelines and policies develop from the legislation, funding will be required to relieve the 2015 AARP estimate of $470 billion in unpaid care and the 2016 AARP estimate of $7,000 in out-of-pocket expenses provided annually by family caregivers.

Better federal coordination across agencies and initiatives can further the recognition and support of unpaid family caregivers and has the possibility of large scale change in payment and service delivery systems. Meanwhile, coordination and testing new service systems continue at the state and local levels—a living laboratory of new collaborative efforts between health and community based social services—that respond to the practical daily needs of caregiving families.

Kathleen Kelly, Executive Director

 

Date: 
Thursday, January 25, 2018