In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.
U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are applauding yesterday’s Signing of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act into law. This bipartisan law establishes a national strategy to support family caregivers across the country.This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy. HHS shall convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to advise it on recognizing and supporting family caregivers.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. The bipartisan law is endorsed by over 60 aging and disability organizations, including the AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Arc.
“Signing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act into law is an important step in supporting the nation’s 40 million family caregivers who take care of loved ones, many of them elderly, often with very little support or resources available to them,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “With the rapid growth of our aging population, it’s reasonable to say that many of us will end up either being a caregiver, or needing one. As a result, the potential benefits of this legislation are both critical and wide reaching.”
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028) was supported by a broad bipartisan coalition of cosponsors including Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Angus King (I-ME).
Important Facts on Family Caregivers:
- 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care in 2013.
- Many caregivers are putting their own health at risk since caregivers experience high levels of stress and have a greater incidence of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and depression.
- Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, and as many as 90 percent of them have one or more chronic health conditions.
- Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the aging population. This population is most at risk for multiple and interacting health problems that can lead to disability and the need for round-the-clock care.