January 28, 2020 Advocacy Alert

Share Your Caregiving Experiences with the  National Caregiving Advisory Council

Comments Due February 7 

January 28, 2020

In 2018, a multi-year local and national advocacy effort successfully culminated with the passage of the RAISE Family Caregiver Act. The bipartisan and widely supported effort established the national Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which is charged with developing and making recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services about effective strategies to better support the estimated 43.5 million family caregivers in the United States. The Council’s scope is broad, encompassing caregivers of all ages caring for people of all ages, not just the caregivers of older adults who we know are an essential component to helping older adults and age with dignity and independence in their homes and communities. The Council is also focused on recommending ways to improve coordination among the federal government agencies that play a role in caregiving.
In April of last year, n4a President Deborah Stone-Walls was appointed to the Family Caregiving Advisory Council, and n4a CEO Sandy Markwood serves as a member of the Council’s faculty. The national panel began their work last summer to explore strategies to promote improvement in federal, state and community systems that support family caregivers. To inform this effort, members of the Council are seeking public input from individuals and agencies about the experiences and challenges of family caregivers and possible solutions to enhance caregiver supports.

How Your Agency and Clients Can Inform the Council’s Work
The Administration for Community Living (ACL), which is the federal entity that is convening the Council, released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking “input from individuals and organizations that capture the breadth of the family caregiving experience.” Aging Network stakeholders and advocates at all levels are an essential voice in this caregiving conversation. We urge your agency, providers and the caregivers they serve to submit comments to the Advisory Council by February 7. Note that this is not a cumbersome process: you do not need to submit a formal letter and the submission is limited in scope. See what we mean.

Take Action Today!

Specifically, the Council is requesting submissions focused on recommendations and solution-focused actions that the Council can take, as well as pressing family caregiving concerns that the council should consider.
  • Submit Comments from Your Agency and/or Advisory Council! Organizations serving both caregivers and care recipients offer an important perspective about challenges and opportunities for solutions for family caregivers. Specifically, the Council is requesting information addressing issues such as: person and-family centered care planning; caregiver assessments; service planning and delivery; care transitions and care coordination; information, education, referral and training needs; effective advance-care planning; caregiver respite options; financial security; and workplace or employment options.
  • Engage Your Grassroots Network and Community! Encourage your providers, advisory boards and consumers to engage by submitting information about their own caregiving experiences and challenges.

n4a will also submit comments to ACL’s Request for Information and will make those comments available when finalized. Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!
If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell a
acampbell@n4a.org and Amy Gotwals at agotwals@n4a.org.

USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!