This was copied from the Alzheimer’s Association’s Advocate application.
The Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) are pleased to support the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill would require the development and implementation of a coordinated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers .
Caregiver-forehead-kissMore than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and, without significant action, as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by 2050. Today, another person develops the disease every 66 seconds; by 2050, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds. This explosive growth will cause Alzheimer’s costs to increase from an estimated $259 billion in 2017 to $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2017 dollars). These mounting costs threaten to bankrupt families, businesses and our health care system.
Unfortunately, our work is only growing more urgent. In addition to its economic impact, Alzheimer’s places a tremendous burden on caregivers since caregiving can be an emotionally, physically and financially draining role. In 2016, 15.9 million unpaid caregivers provided 18.2 billion hours of care valued at more than $230 billion. Caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias also report higher levels of stress, depression and worse health outcomes when compared to others who are providing care to individuals without dementia. As a result, Alzheimer’s caregivers incurred $10.9 billion in additional health costs last year.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028) would provide much needed support to these caregivers by facilitating the creation of a national strategy to address the many issues facing caregivers today including: education and training, long-term services and supports, and financial stability and security. Improving assistance for family caregivers will have a positive impact on caregiver health and well-being and will result in a higher quality of care for their loved ones. This legislation is also consistent with the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, which seeks to expand and enhance training, education and support for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.