The RAISE Family Caregivers Act: A Perspective

On September 27, 2017, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act was passed by Congress. What does this mean for you and yours, though? Heck, what does it mean for us as the caregivers of our own aging parents?

I took the time to read the Act online (here) and my interpretation was immediately " this Act essentially means we will start considering how best to approach the idea of thinking about how to assist Family Caregivers...?" So it's a start. Our government is interested in putting the issue of Family Caregiving on the discussion table.

Three things to keep in mind as you read further on my perspective of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act: First, it's not yet a law; President Trump still has to sign it. Second, this is a decidedly bipartisan Act which is great (and rare!), and it passed unanimously, so clearly the ideas set forth in the Act are at least on the brains of our congressfolk. Finally, this is just my perspective, and I am certainly not an expert on how this act will or will not be helpful to us in the Family Caregiving world. 

I went in search of other interpretations of what this RAISE Act seeks to accomplish, and here (directly quoted) is a great summary from, written by Richard Eisenberg:

  • "Promoting greater adoption of person-centered care and family-centered care in health settings and long-term care settings
  • Training for family caregivers
  • Respite options for family caregivers
  • Ways to increase financial security for family caregivers
  • Workplace policies to help family caregivers keep working
  • Collecting and sharing of information about innovative family caregiving models
  • Assessing federal programs around family caregiving
  • Addressing disparities and meeting the needs of the diverse caregiving population

'The RAISE Act is a common-sense step to help support family caregivers nationwide and we urge President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law as soon as possible,' said Bob Blancato, chair of the American Society on Aging board of directors and Bill Benson, chair of the group’s public policy committee." 

I'm glad -- really glad -- that Congress is considering how best to support family caregivers. I hope very much that the unanimous support of the RAISE Act means that all of the involved government parties have a solid plan and strategy waiting in the wings. I'm glad they're thinking about it and passed an Act that says they're thinking about it; hopeful this means strategic action isn't far behind. I welcome your thoughts.