Washington, D.C. -- Senator Tammy Baldwin was brought up by her mother and her grandparents. She was later able to return the favor, as she became their primary caretaker.
"There’s a lot of complex decisions and instances where family members do step up often juggling their own work lives or their own family lives with that role of taking care of elder loved ones,” Baldwin said.
And she’s not alone. Baldwin says there are about 40 million family caregivers in the United States. In 2013 these caregivers provided an estimated $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care.
That's why she's sponsoring legislation that would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to see family care givers as part of their strategic plan.
The RAISE Family Caregivers ACT along with bipartisan support from Maine Senator Susan Collins would provide families with more resources to make difficult health decisions.
Collins said, "“The American population is aging and the need for care and support is increasing. Family caregivers are an invaluable resource to our aging society. Chances are that, sooner or later, we will all either be family caregivers or someone who needs one.”
Baldwin added, “really understand the role that family caregivers play and the support that they need to do their jobs even better.”
The legislation is gaining support of it’s own. On Tuesday, it was announced that more than 50 national and state advocacy groups are joining to support the bill.