LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RAISE Act supports family caregivers
I’d like to give a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped and/or participated with this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. With the help of the communities across Minnesota and North Dakota, over $2.59 million has been donated and donation tallies continue through the end of the year.
With walk season over, it’s time to turn our attention to November, which is also National Family Caregivers Month. This month we recognize the impact of caregiving and honor the more than 15 million Americans caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. In 2016, these caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of care valued at over $230 billion.
Importantly, Congress is currently considering legislation that would provide much-needed support to our nation’s family caregivers -- the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028/H.R. 3759). Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act would facilitate the creation of a national strategy to address the many issues facing caregivers, including education and training, long-term services and supports, and financial stability and security.
In September, the Senate unanimously passed the act, sending a clear message of support to our nation’s family caregivers. I am thankful to Sens. Klobuchar and Franken for supporting the RAISE Family Caregivers Act as cosponsors of the bill. It is now time for the House of Representatives to take the same action and pass the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, with Rep. Peterson already signed on as a co-sponsor, please join me in thanking him as well for his support.
Beth Magnusson, Gibbon, Minn., is Alzheimer’s Advocacy Ambassador for Minnesota District 7.