LeadingAge applauds the unanimous passage in the U.S. Senate of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028). The legislation, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), is a catalyst for the development of a strategy to support the nation's 40 million family caregivers. 

The Strategy shall identify recommended actions that Federal (under existing Federal programs), State, and local governments, communities, health care providers, long-term services and supports providers, and others are taking, or may take, to recognize and support family caregivers in a manner that reflects their diverse needs, including with respect to the following:

  1. Promoting greater adoption of person- and family-centered care in all health and long-term services and supports settings, with the person receiving services and supports and the family caregiver (as appropriate) at the center of care teams.
  2. Assessment and service planning (including care transitions and coordination) involving family caregivers and care recipients.
  3. Information, education and training supports, referral, and care coordination, including with respect to hospice care, palliative care, and advance planning services.
  4. Respite options.
  5. Financial security and workplace issues.
  6. Delivering services based on the performance, mission, and purpose of a program while eliminating redundancies.

Millions of Americans are caring for parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities and other loved ones in their homes and communities. Caregiving helps delay or prevent costly nursing home care, which is often paid for by Medicaid. 

LeadingAge is working to foster bipartisan support for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill (H.R. 3759) was introduced by Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL), along with original cosponsors Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). The RAISE Family Caregivers Act has the support of about 60 national organizations.