WASHINGTON, DC — AARP announced its support of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage Family Caregivers Act that would require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The legislation (S. 1028) was introduced this week in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
"AARP appreciates the leadership of Senators Collins and Baldwin on the RAISE Family Caregivers Act and we urge Congress to get behind this commonsense, bipartisan step to recognize and support our nation's more than 40 million family caregivers," said AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond. "Every day, these ordinary Americans take on extraordinary physical, emotional and financial challenges as they help their parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities, and other loved ones live independently at home and in their communities —and out of costly nursing homes, saving taxpayer dollars."
The nation's family caregivers provide assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, transportation, medical tasks, managing finances, and more—unpaid care that is valued at around $470 billion annually, more than the entire Medicaid program in 2013. "The RAISE Family Caregivers Act will help elevate the contributions of these unsung heroes, and identify support to help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier," said LeaMond.
The legislation would create an advisory council of representatives from the private and public sectors, including family caregivers, older adults and people with disabilities, health care providers, employers, state and local officials, and others to make recommendations regarding the national strategy. The advisory council meetings would be open to the public with opportunities for public input. The strategy would identify specific actions that communities, health care providers, employers, government, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers.
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AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.