Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

AFA: Alzheimer’s Caregivers Still Need Help from Washington to Sustain their Crucial Role

Preserving Medical Expense Tax Deduction Important Step, Approval of RAISE Act Needed Next

In the wake of sweeping changes to the nation’s tax code, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) President and CEO Charles Fuschillo is urging Washington to take additional steps to aid caregivers assisting those with Alzheimer’s.

“The daunting task and financial burden of caring for a community at risk is growing exponentially, and without assistance from Washington individuals performing this task would be faced with the Hobson’s choice of personal bankruptcy or walking away from loved ones,” Fuschillo said.

Fuschillo cited the preservation of the medical expense deduction and reduction of the income threshold needed to qualify from 10% to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018 in the recent tax reform legislation as “recognition of some of the needs facing family caregivers.”  Nearly 9 million caregivers deducted approximately $87 billion for related healthcare expenses in tax year 2015.

Fuschillo says for the next step, “The Senate must join the House in passing the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act which requires Washington to create a National Family Caregiving Strategy that finally recognizes family caregivers as integral and essential within the nation’s health care safety net.  Without these caregivers our society would be hard pressed to preserve and protect the dignity and safety of countless individuals who face Alzheimer’s.”

“Alzheimer’s is a crisis that touches every American, and we are encouraged that there is an awareness and appreciation in Washington of this fact.  Without a coordinated response to this unfolding national challenge we would be left directionless, isolated from those who can strengthen the collective safety net for family caregivers,” explained the AFA executive.