|Today the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, & Engage (RAISE) Family Caregiving Advisory Council delivered its initial report to Congress. The culmination of a two-year, multi-faceted effort that gathered input from family caregivers across the country, the report provides an overview of many of the issues faced by family caregivers nationwide and provides recommendations for addressing them.
|26 Recommendations To CongressThe report also includes an inventory of federally funded efforts to support caregivers and interviews with 26 caregivers representing a range of caregiving situations and needs.The recommendations from the report are the first step to developing a national strategy that will outline critical actions that can be taken at the federal and state levels and by local communities, philanthropic organizations, healthcare providers and providers of long-term services and supports, and others to better support family caregivers. Who Are Family CaregiversMore than 53 million people provide a broad range of assistance to support the health, quality of life, and independence of someone close to them. Millions of older adults and people with disabilities would not be able to live in their communities without this essential support, and replacing that support with paid services would cost an estimated $470 billion each year. While family caregiving is rewarding, it can be challenging, and when caregivers do not have the support they need, their health, well-being and quality of life often suffer. Their financial future can also be put at risk; lost income due to family caregiving is estimated at $522 billion each year. All of these challenges have been intensified during the pandemic.Impact of Pandemic on Caregiving“COVID-19 laid bare the need to address the urgent issues experienced by family caregivers,” said ACL Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging Alison Barkoff. “The pandemic exacerbated the challenges of family caregiving. Balancing work, family and caretaking became even more difficult, and in many cases, caregivers had to completely leave the workforce. The pandemic has created a new urgency and momentum to address caregiving.”