RAISE Family Caregivers Act Proposed to Help Those Giving Assistance
Aging Matters

My sisters and I know the hardships of elder care. The three of us helped our parents. Today, there are 40 million family members giving help to needy loved ones. Whether working a full-time job or being a full-time caregiver, it's difficult to juggle time and resources between the two demands.

Back in my caregiving day, the HR department didn't understand what it was like to do both. And when I asked to take Family Medical Leave, they rejected the request. That was almost twenty years ago.

In June of 2017, Congress passed the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act. And on January 22nd, the US President signed into law the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. It's the first step in creating a national strategy aimed at the relatives and partners who provide care.

What the Act will do

  • Promote adoption of person-centered and family centered care in health settings and long-term care settings
  • Train and educate family caregivers
  • Offer respite options
  • Find ways to increase financial security for family caregivers
  • Alter workplace policies to help family caregivers keep working
  • Share innovative family caregiving models
  • Assess federal programs around caregiving
  • Address disparities and needs of the diverse caregiver population

The Aging Council at HomeHealthCareAgencies.com hope the Act will:

"Create options for the working family caregiver so they're not forced to give up their employment. It's their income as well as respite so often. If they do have to give it up, make payment possible based on the fact they ARE family caregivers...period. Not diagnosis based, not years in and not what relational status." Marie Senizaiz Sierra,

"I met with Senator Murray (D-WA) and formally presented a plan which would increase the financial security of America's family caregivers. One of the best financial supports they can receive is a future where they aren't needed. Tax incentives for buying LTC insurance lead to well-documented benefits, especially among family who would otherwise have to leave or reduce work at great sacrifice." Stephen D. Forman, CLTC,

"Raise the Midi-care benefits for these families. Or, give them a way to get an increase in their Social Security benefits. Seems it would be a tremendous help to these families." Bryan London"

"The problem with the current support services and financial reimbursement for caregivers is that it all runs through the Medicaid system. You have to be impoverished to get the bit of help offered. Opening Adult Day Care centers and offering financial help through unemployment insurance or social security to people above the Medicaid limits would go a long way to provide financial security. It doesn't seem possible though with Social Security already under attack." Caryn Isaacs,

Carol Marak, aging advocate, Seniorcare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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