Updated: Dec 17, 2018
Last Monday, the President signed into law the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act. This act addresses the needs of family caregivers throughout the nation by providing much needed support to family caregivers. The Act directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and implement a coordinated national strategy to provide education, training, long-term services, support, and financial security for caregivers. It also directs HHS to create a Family Caregiving Advisory Council. The Council will be able to advise HHS on recognizing and supporting family caregivers.
There are more than 15 million Americans who provide unpaid care for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Caregivers of people with dementia report higher levels of stress, depression, and worse health outcomes than those providing care to people without dementia. As a result of these emotional and physical burdens, caregivers for Alzheimer’s incurred $10.9 billion in additional health costs last year. The new law will have a positive impact on family caregivers by enhancing the assistance available to caregivers. This should result in improved health and well-being as well as a higher quality of care for their loved ones.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act and the Family Caregiving Advisory Council were closely modeled after the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement will play an active role in the implementation of this new act and council.