Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

AFA: Signing of New RAISE Family Caregiver Law Positive Step, But Continued Action Needed from Washington

Urges Critical, Next Step to Significantly Boost NIH-Funded Research

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) heralded the signing of the new RAISE Family Caregiver Act, which will provide a desperately needed comprehensive national plan for the millions of family caregivers across the country who tirelessly care for their loved ones—including those living with Alzheimer’s—often while also trying to balance a family and a career, and dealing with health issues of their own.  AFA also urged Washington to build off this positive step by increasing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for Alzheimer’s research.

“We are grateful to Congress and President Trump for all their hard work in making this critical legislation a reality. The importance of supporting our nation’s families and easing the devastation of this cruel disease is surely something on which we can all agree,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President and CEO.  “This is forward progress, but it should not be the end of the journey.”

“This encouraging development is only the tip of the iceberg,” Fuschillo added.   “A dire need remains for the federal government to pass a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget which includes $2 billion—up from the current amount of $1.4 billion—for Alzheimer’s disease research at the NIH.  $2 billion is the minimum amount leading scientists insist is needed to finding an Alzheimer’s cure or meaningful treatment by 2025, as called for by the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. Washington must come together again in the same spirit of bipartisanship it just showed with the RAISE Family Caregiver Act and provide the necessary research funding.”

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one in the top ten without a cure or reversible treatment.  The death rate from Alzheimer’s grew by more than 54 percent between 1999 and 2014, according to a Centers for Disease Control report issued last May.  More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and waiting for a cure.

“Passing the RAISE Family Caregiver Act was a great first step for 2018,” Fuschillo said, “but the federal government can, and must, take a giant step forward by significantly increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research.”

More on the new law

The RAISE Family Caregiver Act will require the Federal Government to develop a national strategy to support family caregivers; it will bring together stakeholders from the private and public sectors to recommend actions and develop a comprehensive national plan that communities, providers, government and others can follow to make the responsibilities of caregiving a little easier.