Trump Signs Caregiver Act

 February 1, 2018
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Oftentimes, caring for a family member with a disability or a special healthcare need can be exhausting – mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. As caregivers, we have all experienced overwhelming tiredness that comes from trying to ensure that our family member is receiving the best medical care, has access to the best education, and is fulfilled emotionally through social and recreational activities. This is all in addition to taking care of the basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc.

Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO) participating family member Barbara Goldschmidt acknowledged the importance of caregiving and the toll it can take on the life of an individual in a blog titled Caregiver Care: What’s Needed Now. In this post, published on M&L and ILO’s website in May of 2016, Goldschmidt writes: “Caregiver fatigue is common in all stages of life, whether we are caring for children, spouses or aging parents. There are about 60 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., helping a loved one who is elderly, ill or disabled. We are a mighty, but tired, nation.”

Well, hope is on the horizon for all of the exhausted caregivers – just last week, (January 23, 2018) President Trump signed a law that “directs 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.[1]” It also requires the creation of an advisory council – consisting of federal officials and community members – to provide guidance on the development of this strategy, both as it is being created and on an ongoing basis.

This new law, called the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, imposes a definite timeline as to when caregivers should start receiving support: the plan must be created and implemented within three years. Once the plan has been implemented, the law also required the advisory council to report on the progress of the strategy on an annual basis.

According to the AARP – who has been credited as the driving force behind this act – the strategy is intended to address common issues faced by family caregivers, and to provide support to the financial, medical, and workplace challenges that caregivers often face.

Specifically,[2] the strategy will address:

  • Respite services and options.
  • Workplace flexibility, financial security and workplace issues.
  • Information, education and training support for navigating the healthcare system.
  • Assessment and service planning (including care transitions and coordination) involving recipients and family caregivers.
  • Broad consideration of person-and family-centered care in all health and LTSS settings, with the person and the family caregiver (when appropriate) at the center of care teams.

This new act has been widely supported by many disability advocate organizations across the country, including The Arc, the Autism Society, and United Cerebral Palsy, among others.

Are you Experiencing Caregiver Burnout? M&L Can Help

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and read our blog today. As an organization dedicated to helping families with special needs, we are very hopeful that this new law will provide much needed support and services to those families struggling with their caregiver duties.

At M&L, we have both personal and professional experience with the special needs journey, and are committed to helping you make informed financial decisions that will allow you and your family to lead successful, happy, and financially healthy lives. For a complete list of our services – including our Comprehensive Special Needs Life Plan, visit our services page. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinseatonjefferson/2018/01/24/congress-passes-trump-signs-raise-family-caregivers-act-elevating-caregiving-to-a-priority/#583df023331f

[2] As found on https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinseatonjefferson/2018/01/24/congress-passes-trump-signs-raise-family-caregivers-act-elevating-caregiving-to-a-priority/#583df023331f

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