Time to write or call your United States Senator and voice your support for RAISE Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028) introduced into the senate by Susan Collins and Tammy Baldwin. The legislation has the support of the American Association on Health and Disability, Association of University Centers on Disability, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Paralyzed Veterans of America and many other groups.

Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act

Washington, D.C. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously passed legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to establish a national strategy to support family caregivers. The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage, or RAISE, Family Caregivers Act will now be considered by the full Senate.

The RAISE Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. This bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by 58 aging and disability organizations, including the AARP, the Alzheimer's Association, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Arc. U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) are cosponsors of the bill.

"Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years old. The need for care and support is increasing; however, the number of professional caregivers is shrinking,'said Senator Collins. "Our bipartisan legislation would develop a coordinated, national strategic plan to help us leverage our resources, promote best practices, and expand the services and training available to caregivers. By supporting family caregivers, we can enable people to live at home, where they want to be, and delay or prevent more costly care and unnecessary hospitalizations."

"If we are serious about ensuring that our older adults and loved ones with disabilities receive the highest quality care in their own homes, we must formally recognize and support family caregivers," said Senator Baldwin. "Our bipartisan legislation will create a national strategy and plan to assist family caregivers to help everyone have access to the care and assistance they need and deserve. As someone that served as my grandmother's primary caregiver, this is personal to me. I am excited that this bipartisan legislation has cleared this important hurdle."

The RAISE Act is based on a recommendation of the bipartisan Commission on Long Term Care and modeled on the law Senator Collins co-authored in 2010 with then-Senator Evan Bayh that created a coordinated strategic national plan to combat Alzheimer's disease.

Here is a sample letter you can send or email to your United States Senator:

Read the text of the bill here: