Caregiving can be an emotionally, physically and financially draining role. Across Washington state there are more than 335,000 people providing unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. In 2016, these caregivers provided an estimated 382 million hours of care valued at $4.8 billion.
During my mom’s journey with Alzheimer’s, my dad was her primary caregiver for many years, up until the last 10 months of her life. Being a care-partner with my folks on this journey, I saw a lot of love, patience, and energy in action but also witnessed some exhaustion. It’s said that a day caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can often feel like a 36-hour day.
I am writing to proudly advocate for the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, now moving through the U.S. Senate as S. 1028. This bipartisan bill would provide much needed support to our nation’s caregivers who work so tirelessly to do the best for their loved ones, much like my dad did.
Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, it 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.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act is 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.
Please join me in thanking Sen. Patty Murray for voting for the RAISE Act in committee and in urging both Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Dave Reichert to support this needed legislation in the coming months.