Every year, tens of thousands of family caregivers deliver support and personal care to loved ones without training, pay or, in many cases, help from anyone.
In fact, family caregivers make up the core of our nation’s caregiving workforce, yet they often struggle with financial challenges, workplace issues, stress-induced health problems and more.
In January, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act became law, starting an initiative to better support family caregivers on both local and national levels.
RAISE stands for Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage. The RAISE Act will create a nationwide strategy to support family caregivers by providing education and resources, fixing workplace issues that limit a loved one’s ability to provide care and assessing current and future health systems to ensure caregivers’ central role in their loved one’s care.
With the act passed, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has 18 months to develop a strategy to bolster family caregivers in their roles. Along with the HHS secretary, an advisory council made up of caregivers themselves, older adults, veterans, adults with disabilities, health and long-term care providers, employers and state and local officials will work together to make recommendations for the new approach.
What is the RAISE Act supposed to do?
According to Forbes, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act is designed to meet the following goals for families:
● Promote person- and family-centered care in health-care and long-term care settings
● Provide training opportunities to family caregivers
● Inform caregivers about respite options and provide greater opportunities for them to use respite care
● Determine ways to increase financial security for caregiving families
● Create better workplace policies that allow family caregivers to keep working and earning income
● Collect and distribute information about innovative care models
● Assess and evaluate current federal programs that involve family caregiving
● Address and meet the different needs of diverse caregiving families
At this point, it may be hard to imagine the concrete results of the RAISE Act, but its passage may give hope for greater support to those who need it the most. We hope that the strategies that arise from the RAISE Act will help family caregivers learn better skills and techniques for providing personal care, create more opportunities for respite care and resources, improve professional care settings and enable working caregivers to better balance employment and caregiving responsibilities.
These goals address significant needs many of today’s family caregivers experience daily.
Caring for the caregivers
If you or someone you know is a family caregiver, you can find support for your journey at Diakon Senior Living.
We understand the challenges you face every day as you provide care for your loved ones. If you need support, advice or guidance on caregiving for an older adult, please contact us for compassionate help and friendly support.
Senior Vice President
Operations & Business Development, Diakon Senior Living Services