Hot Off the Press: Foundation for National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers Released!

As the nation grapples with a caregiving crisis that has been worsened by the pandemic, USAging applauds the 26 recommendations released Wednesday by the congressionally created RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage) Family Caregiving Advisory Council.

In 2018, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act was passed to address the complex issues facing family caregivers. RAISE also directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a Family Caregiving Advisory Council compromised of both family caregivers and experts. This week, the RAISE Council announced its recommendations—delivered to policymakers—on how to better support family caregivers, including a call for financial and workplace security and expanding home and community-based services, among other actions. These recommendations will serve as the foundation for a National Family Caregiving Strategy.
The RAISE Family Caregiving and Advisory Council developed the recommendations after a two-year, multifaceted effort with support from USAging as well as other national caregiving partners. The recommendations fall under five goals, which include:
  • Increasing Awareness of Family Caregivers to increase public understanding of the contributions caregivers make, including helping individuals self-identify as caregivers so that they can get the support they need.
  • Engaging Family Caregivers as Partners in Healthcare and Long-Term Services and Supports to better integrate family caregivers into healthcare processes and systems.
  • Improving Access to Services and Supports for Family Caregivers including counseling, respite care, peer support, training on common in-home medical tasks, and practical assistance like transportation. Also included is a recommendation for strengthening the paid caregiver workforce.
  • Supporting Financial and Workplace Security for Family Caregivers to decrease the impact family caregiving can have on the financial well-being and professional lives of caregivers.
  • Generating Research, Data, and Evidence-Informed Practices to help create policies and interventions that meaningfully help family caregivers.
The National Family Caregiver Strategy will provide a roadmap for the nation to strengthen its support and recognition of the critical role family caregivers of all ages play in healthcare and long-term support systems. The next stop for the recommendations is the halls of Congress where they were hand-delivered yesterday. Attention now turns to educating members of Congress on the impact these recommendations could have on the lives of the nation's caregivers—and those for whom they provide care.



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