Trump and Congress RAISE the Bar

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Caregiving. This is something we all face in our lives at some point, whether it be finding a caretaker for your aging mother, receiving services on your own, or finding a caretaker for your own child. Through all of the disputes and arguing going on in our country, caregiving is one thing America can ‘rally’ behind. Everyone understands caregiving is a necessity, so it is great there were no problems when the Congress and President Donald Trump decided to agree on the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.

The law is bi-partisan, and it commands the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a strategy to support more than 40 million family caregivers in the US (forbes.com). With this act, an advisory body will be formed to ensure private and public sectors make recommendations that people may take to help caregivers. This legislation was heavily favored by AARP, which is the nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to helping older Americans. The fact AARP is a non-partisan organization and approves of this new act brought by republican and democratic senators shows unity, thus saying this bill could be ‘non-partisan.’ AARP got together over 60 aging and disability organizations who support the act as well; some of these organizations include: Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association (forbes.com). The RAISE act is very important because it will bring together stakeholders to support families and recognize their needs. This will ensure caregivers will receive training needed to navigate the healthcare system.

 So what happens now? An advisory council will be created, and once created; a report will be made for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Eric D. Hargan. This report is needed to be turned in within a year, then Hargan will be given 18 months to scheme up a national strategy in 6 more months with the council providing annual reports. Some of the topics included to aide caregivers are: Respite services, HR improvement, information for navigating the healthcare system, assessment/service planning involving recipients and family caregivers, and a broad consideration of person/family centered care (forbes.com).

All in all, I would say this act is a great first step in bigger strides to come. We now have Congress and Trump to thank for more trained, skilled, supported, and informed caregivers. I am eager to see how the selection process for the advisory council will be, and who will be selected.

 

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TJ Potchka

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