Coordinated action will improve conditions for 53 million family caregivers
WASHINGTON, APRIL 27, 2023– The National Alliance for Caregiving and the patient advocacy, aging and disability rights communities are launching Act on RAISE, an unprecedented campaign to drive action on the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, the nation’s first-ever federal blueprint for family caregivers.
“America has become a caregiver nation,” said Jason Resendez, CEO and President of the National Alliance for Caregiving. “More than 50 million caregivers work every day to provide the care that makes all other work possible, often lacking training and economic resources. If we are going to make caregiving more sustainable and equitable, we need strong and consistent leadership from Congress and the Administration.”
The Act on RAISE campaign calls on lawmakers, state and federal agencies to realize the promise of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act and champion bipartisan actions outlined in the National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. It comes on the heels of an executive action taken by the White House to support family caregivers and direct care workers in an initial important step toward the implementation of the National Strategy.
When implemented, RAISE’s National Strategy will support caregivers by:
- Increasing awareness and outreach.
- Advancing cross-sector partnerships and engagement.
- Strengthening services and supports.
- Ensuring financial and workplace security.
- Expanding data, research and evidence-based practices.
There are some 53 million caregivers serving millions of American households, a number that has been increasing rapidly in recent years. The RAISE National Strategy represents the first time a broad cross-section of the federal government has collaborated with family caregivers, caregiving experts and the private sector on a response to the nation’s caregiving crisis.“The National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers gives us the necessary blueprint to care for our loved ones with dignity,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “The strategy stemmed from the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, championed by AARP, and includes hundreds of tangible actions that the federal government can take now to give family caregivers – who are the backbone of this country’s long-term care system – some of the help they so desperately need.”
The lack of support for caregivers is causing negative ripple effects for the health, financial, and mental well-being of America’s caregivers, with 12 million Americans reporting that caregiving has made their health worse and nearly 20 million reporting high levels of emotional stress due to caregiving. The economic impacts can be staggering. Nationally, unpaid care is valued at $600 billion annually.
The strategy outlines 500 achievable actions to be taken at both federal and state levels, by agencies, Congress and leaders in the private sector to immediately help family caregivers. The strategy is already drawing strong, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.
“Family caregivers devote enormous time and attention and make many personal and financial sacrifices to care for their loved ones,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “As our population grows older, the number of uncompensated family caregivers providing high-quality, long-term care will only increase. Advancing this strategy is essential to millions of American families.”
“Having served as my grandmother’s primary caregiver, I know the vital role family caregivers play in keeping their loved ones safe and well in their own homes. But too often, the hard work of family caregivers goes unrecognized and uncompensated, despite the sacrifices they make and the frequent levels of high stress, frustration and exhaustion they experience,” said Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. “I was proud to champion legislation to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support the tens of millions of family caregivers across the United States, and will continue fighting to support family caregivers in the important work they do.”
Other groups supporting the Act on Raise campaign include: AARP, The Arc, American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Caring Across Generations, Diverse Elders Coalition, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, National Council on Aging, National Health Council, Rosalynn Carter Institute, and USAging.
“Are we ready as a country to support family caregivers? With a new national strategy and this campaign, we think the answer is a resounding yes,” said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation, which provides grant funding for Act on RAISE. “Each of us is, will be, or will need a family caregiver, and we all have a role to play in advocating for more caregiving support.”
To learn more about the campaign and ways to support visit: ActOnRAISE.org
About The National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) is a national membership-based organization focused on building health, wealth, and equity for family caregivers through research, innovation, and advocacy. We envision a society that values, supports, and empowers family caregivers to thrive at home, work, and life. Learn more at https://www.caregiving.org.