Congress Thinks More Can Be Done to Support Family Caregivers. We Agree!
Thousands of women in the Sixty and Me community are the primary caregivers for one or more family members. These women, along with millions of other Americans, according to AARP, provide 37-billion (that billion, with a B) hours of unpaid help for their loved ones.
Of course, with the continuing aging of the U.S. population, the number of us who are called upon to be a family caregiver will only increase over time. We can’t stop the demographic tidal wave that is coming… but, we can help to direct it and reduce its impact on society and individuals who provide family caregiving services.
Everyone Benefits When Family Caregivers Are Supported
Let’s be honest. Family caregivers take a massive burden off of society’s shoulders. While none of us think of it in these terms – we just want to help our mom, dad, sister or brother to live comfortably – we are the last line of defense that many elderly adults have. If we fail, our relatives suffer, as does society.
So, while society may not be able to financially support family caregivers, it makes sense for the powers at be to do everything they can to support them.
This is why I was excited to read about the new RAISE measure that just passed Congress and it on its way to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
What is the RAISE Measure?
RAISE is the result of a realization on the part of Congress that family caregivers provide a valuable service and should be supported.
Specifically, it requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a team to look into ways to support family caregivers. According to AARP, “The blueprint, which must be developed within 18 months, would address financial and workplace issues, respite care and other ways to support caregivers.”
It’s a Start
Will RAISE solve all of the issues that family caregivers face? Of course not! That said, if nothing else, it represents an important starting point on the path to shedding light on the many issues that caregivers face every day.
The more society becomes aware of caregiver issues, the more likely it is that entrepreneurs will develop businesses in this area. And, if the HHS can help to identify and communicate best practices – or even provide financial support for caregivers who are struggling – so much the better!
Are you a family caregiver? What do you think that could be done – either in the business world or through the government – to improve the lives of other caregivers and the people they look after? Let’s have a chat!