WASHINGTON, DC —Today, AARP announced its support for the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act that would require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The legislation (H.R. 3099) was introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL). The Senate bill, S. 1719, was introduced last week by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
“AARP appreciates the bipartisan leadership demonstrated by Senators Collins and Baldwin, and Representatives Harper and Castor,” said AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond. “Caregiving is an issue that will affect almost everyone. Our country should recognize and support the contributions that roughly 40 million family caregivers make every day and we urge Congress to act on this bill this year.”
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act would specifically require the development, maintenance, and updating of an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. This bill would create an advisory council that brings together relevant federal agencies and representatives from the private and public sectors, including family caregivers, older adults and persons with disabilities, health care providers, employers, state and local officials, and others to advise and make recommendations regarding the national strategy. The advisory council meetings would be open to the public with opportunities for input. The strategy would identify specific actions that government, communities, health care and other providers, employers, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers.
The need for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act was reinforced today with the release of AARP Public Policy Institute’s new report, Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update, that finds family caregivers in the U.S. provided 37 billion hours of care—worth an estimated $470 billion—to their parents, spouses, and other adult loved ones in 2013. The total estimated economic value of this uncompensated care provided by the nation’s family caregivers surpassed total Medicaid spending ($449 billion) in 2013. Family caregiving today is much more complex, stressful, and costly for caregivers than ever before. By supporting family caregivers, we can help people live at home where they want to be, helping to delay or prevent more costly nursing home care and unnecessary hospitalizations, and saving taxpayer dollars.
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About AARP AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more atwww.aarp.org.
Greg Phillips, 202-434-2560, email@example.com, @AARPmedia