Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

AFA Urges President Trump to Seize the Opportunity to Help Family Caregivers

RAISE Family Caregiver Act Heading to the President’s Desk Following Recent Approval by Congress

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is urging President Donald Trump to provide help to millions of family caregivers across the country by signing the RAISE Family Caregiver Act.  The legislation was passed by the Senate Monday night, following approval by the House of Representatives in December.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a growing national crisis, and until a cure is found, care remains essential.  The millions of family caregivers who are on the front lines of this national health crisis need all the support they can get from the federal government, and it starts with having a national plan to support caregivers,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President and CEO.   “We applaud Congress for working in a bipartisan manner to pass this legislation and urge President Trump to act as quickly as possible. Given the President’s own experiences caring for a loved one with this terrible disease, we are very hopeful that he will sign this much needed legislation into law.”

The RAISE Family Caregiver Act would require the federal government to develop a national strategy to support family caregivers.  It would bring together stakeholders from the private and public sectors to recommend actions, in a comprehensive national plan, that communities, providers, government and others can to take to make the responsibilities of caregiving a bit easier.  AFA has long supported efforts to establish a caregiver advisory board and a national caregiver plan.  The legislation was sponsored by Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) in the House and Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

AFA also urged the federal government to go another step further by increasing federal Alzheimer’s research funding to $2 billion, up from the current amount of $1.4 billion.  $2 billion is the minimum amount leading scientists say is needed to find a cure or meaningful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, as called for by the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.

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 release last May.

“Over 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and waiting for a cure to be found.  Passing the RAISE Family Caregiver Act was a great first step for 2018, but Congress can, and must, take a giant step forward by significantly increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research,” Fuschillo concluded.