From: The Honorable Michelle Lujan Grisham
Support Bipartisan Letter on Family Caregivers in the FY18 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill
Deadline: April 4, 2017
As Co-Chairs of the Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus, we invite you join us in sending the attached letter to House appropriators requesting they support programs
that assist family caregivers in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor-HHS appropriations bill.
Many of us have been, are, or will be a family caregiver or are likely to need the help of one to live independently in our homes and communities. About 40 million family
caregivers provide an estimated $470 billion in unpaid care annually to adults. About 3.7 million family caregivers provide care to a child under age 18 because of a medical, behavioral or other condition or disability and about 6.5 million family caregivers
assist both adults and children. Constituents and families every day in our states and districts are assisting their loved ones.
Often, family caregivers take on care willingly, yet family caregivers can also face physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Family caregivers often coordinate services
and provide assistance with activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, transportation, shopping, and management of finances, as well as medical/nursing tasks, such as wound care and managing multiple medications. About 12 million people of all ages need
these types of assistance today and this number is expected to more than double by 2050. By supporting family caregivers, we can help people stay at home where they want to be, helping to delay or prevent more costly institutional care and unnecessary hospitalizations,
and saving taxpayer dollars.
For more information or to sign on to this letter, please contact Katie Mitchell (Black) at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Courtney Kerster (Lujan Grisham) at
email@example.com or Elya Taichman (Lujan Grisham)
Representative Diane Black Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:
As you consider the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding for programs within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies,
we respectfully request your special attention to several programs critical to supporting family caregivers.
Family caregivers are the backbone of services and supports in this country – they are the first line of assistance for most people and they help make it possible for older
adults and people with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities instead of in more costly institutional settings. Annually, about 40 million family caregivers provided unpaid care valued at about $470 billion to adults who needed
help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and transportation. About 3.7 million family caregivers provide care to a child under age 18 because of a medical, behavioral or other condition or disability, and 6.5 million family
caregivers assist both adults and children. Family caregivers provide at least some level of support for an estimated 90 percent of people with physical or cognitive disabilities. By supporting family caregivers, we can help people stay at home where they
want to be, help to delay or prevent more costly institutional care and unnecessary hospitalizations, and save taxpayer dollars.
Funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP, Title IIIE of the Older Americans Act) has remained essentially the same or even declined over the past decade.
The rising demand for services and supports to help people live independently in their homes and communities due to the aging of the population, coupled with shrinking family size and increased complexity of care provided, means support is needed now, more
than ever, to lessen the strain in the daily lives of caregiving families. As the health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems increasingly rely on unpaid family caregivers to perform complex medical tasks, care coordination, direct care
assistance to family members and for family caregivers to become members of the “care team” with providers, we need to provide vital resources at the community level to be able to meet these expectations. We ask that you provide appropriate funding for the
National Family Caregiver Support Program for services including counseling, information, and training. Additionally, we ask you to include support for the Native American Caregiver Support Services program which offers similar services for Native American
Respite has been shown to improve caregiver well-being, promote family stability, and avoid or delay more costly out-of-home placements, yet 85% of family caregivers caring
for an adult have not used respite. Through the Administration for Community Living, the Lifespan Respite Care Program provides competitive grants to states to support statewide Lifespan Respite systems that maximize public and private resources to improve
and expand quality respite options for family caregivers. Lifespan Respite is the only federal program to address respite accessibility and affordability issues for families regardless of age or disability status. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia
have received Lifespan grants. Grant activities include promoting collaboration among state agencies, including veterans caregiver services, to help streamline services; helping unserved families pay for respite through participant-directed voucher programs
or mini-grants to community agencies; building partnerships with employers and the faith community; recruiting and training respite workers and volunteers; and raising awareness about respite through public education campaigns. We urge you to provide sufficient
funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Program.
Family caregivers often need information about helping their loved one live at home or in the community. Aging and Disability Resource Centers provide streamlined access
for consumers and family caregivers seeking one-on-one person-centered counseling and information and referral assistance about public and private options for LTSS. We request that you include financial support for Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
We look forward to working with you to further support family caregivers in the FY 2018 budget. Many individuals have been, are, or will be a family caregiver or are likely
to need the help of one to live independently in our homes and communities.
Diane Black Michelle Lujan Grisham
Member of Congress Member of Congress