On January 8, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017 sponsored by Senator Susan Collins and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). The RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3759) was introduced by Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL), along with original cosponsors Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). The RAISE Family Caregivers Act has the support of about 60 national organizations.

The RAISE Act directs the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and maintain a national caregiving strategy to support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. Specifically, the bill seeks to promote promising practices, expand services and training for family caregivers, and better leverage and coordinate resources across the federal government. The RAISE Act has been approved by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and is expected to be signed into law by the president soon.

LeadingAge applauds the unanimous passage in the U.S. Senate of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028). The legislation, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), is a catalyst for the development of a strategy to support the nation's 40 million family caregivers. 

The Strategy shall identify recommended actions that Federal (under existing Federal programs), State, and local governments, communities, health care providers, long-term services and supports providers, and others are taking, or may take, to recognize and support family caregivers in a manner that reflects their diverse needs, including with respect to the following:

  1. Promoting greater adoption of person- and family-centered care in all health and long-term services and supports settings, with the person receiving services and supports and the family caregiver (as appropriate) at the center of care teams.
  2. Assessment and service planning (including care transitions and coordination) involving family caregivers and care recipients.
  3. Information, education and training supports, referral, and care coordination, including with respect to hospice care, palliative care, and advance planning services.
  4. Respite options.
  5. Financial security and workplace issues.
  6. Delivering services based on the performance, mission, and purpose of a program while eliminating redundancies.

Millions of Americans are caring for parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities and other loved ones in their homes and communities. Caregiving helps delay or prevent costly nursing home care, which is often paid for by Medicaid.