Members of the U.S. government are making an effort to recognize and support the nearly 43 million family caregivers in the United States.
In a bipartisan effort, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act in the senate on Dec. 8. The legislation, if passed into law, would establish and develop a national strategy to support family caregivers.
The bill was passed in the senate and now heads to the House of Representatives, according to Autism Speaks. If it passes the house and is approved by the president, it will become law.
The RAISE Family Caregiver Act requires the development and maintenance of a national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. It could involve specific actions that government, communities, providers and employers must take in terms of providing the following for family caregivers: training and other supports, respite options, financial security, workplace policies that allow family caregivers to remain in the workforce and more.
“Family caregivers are integral to our long-term care system and our economy, but are too often over-looked as part of the care team for seniors and those with disabilities,” said Senator Baldwin in a press release. “If we are serious about ensuring that our older adults and loved ones with disabilities receive the highest quality care in their own homes, we must formally recognize and support family caregivers.”