Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate this week passed the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage, or RAISE Family Caregivers Act. The bill introduced by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet along with Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and sustain a National Family Caregiving Strategy to support family caregivers. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
"The reality is that most of us will act as a family caregiver or need care at some point in our lifetimes," Bennet said. "Family caregivers are providing billions of hours of unpaid care, to ensure that loved ones can perform daily activities and continue living independently. As the population continues to age the need for family care will only increase, adding to the physical, emotional, and financial stress on caregivers. This bill will help promote policies that support these caregivers."
At present, there are about 40 million family caregivers in the United States, who, in 2013, provided an estimated $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care. This is more than the total Medicaid spending that year.
In addition, Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. This population is most at risk of multiple and interacting health problems that can lead to disability and the need for round-the-clock care.
Bennet is the co-chair of the bipartisan Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus that provides education about family caregivers and ways to support people living independently in addition to advocating for action in Congress on these issues.
Learn more about the RAISE Family Caregivers Act here.
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