Thursday, September 27, 2007
Family Caregiving to the Older Population: Legislation Enacted in the 109th Congress and Proposals in the 110th Congress
September 07, 2007
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Family caregivers fulfill the majority of the need for long-term care provided to older persons with chronic disabilities in the United States. Among those older Americans receiving long-term care, the overwhelming majority receive some form of informal, or unpaid, care primarily provided by spouses and adult children. Family caregiving encompasses a wide range of activities, including assistance with personal care needs, medication management, and coordination with other health-care professionals. For many, caregiving is a rewarding experience; however, for some, caregiving can lead to emotional and physical strain, as well as financial hardship. As demand for caregiving to the older population is likely to increase, certain demographic factors may limit the number of family caregivers and their capacity to provide care. Although the federal government has established programs and services for family caregivers, policy makers have identified the need for additional federal benefits. This report briefly describes legislation enacted in the 109th Congress and proposals introduced in the 110th Congress that directly assist family caregivers (H.R. 1032, H.R. 1161, H.R. 1369, H.R. 1542, H.R. 1560, H.R. 1807, H.R. 1871, H.R. 1911, H.R. 2244, H.R. 2392, H.R. 3043, S. 614, S. 897, S. 898, S.910, S. 1340, S. 1681). This report will be updated upon significant legislative activity.