Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Caregiver Training and Support Introduced in 117th Congress

The Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) are proud to support the bipartisan Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (S. 56/H.R.1474). This bill was introduced by Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in the House, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Senate. This legislation would seek to provide much needed relief for our nation’s dementia caregivers. 

“Caregiving can be an emotionally, physically and financially draining role,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. “Caregivers of people living with dementia often take on overwhelming tasks from assisting with daily personal care, to handling finances, and managing the individual’s symptoms, the loss of memory and more. This bipartisan bill will help aid caregivers.” 

The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act would provide grants to expand training and support services for unpaid caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. These grants would cover valuable training and services including caregiver support groups, group education and skills-training sessions. These programs focus on enhancing caregiver knowledge, coping with stress, care planning, problem solving, managing behavioral symptoms, encouraging persons living with dementia to participate in daily tasks and activities, and understanding the injury or illness of persons needing care. 

Although caregiving is often rewarding, the intense responsibilities often take a toll on the caregiver. In 2019 alone, caregivers of people with dementia provided an estimated 18.6 billion hours of unpaid assistance. Nearly half of dementia caregivers (49%) indicate that providing help is highly stressful compared with 35% of caregivers of people without dementia. 

“The Alzheimer’s Association and AIM thank our bipartisan Congressional champions for their leadership to support our nation’s dementia caregivers,” said Egge. “Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia poses unique challenges, but the support and services this bill would make possible can have a measurable impact including leading to improved health outcomes for both caregivers and individuals living with dementia.”

Through the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, grantees including community health centers, senior centers, Area Agencies on Aging, and more, would reach diverse communities to provide this training and support for families and caregivers. Consistent with the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease — which calls for enhancing public outreach about Alzheimer’s resources and services — the Secretary of Health and Human Services would need to coordinate with the Directors of the Office of Minority Health and the Office of Women’s Health to ensure that women, underrepresented, and medically underserved communities benefit from this program.


Alzheimer's Association®
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.

Alzheimer's Impact Movement
The Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) is a separately incorporated advocacy affiliate of the Alzheimer's Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer's disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.

Contact:
Laura Cilmi, 202.638.8673, [email protected]