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WAUSAU, WI – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Wausau today to meet with family caregivers and local aging groups about her bipartisan legislation, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, that passed Congress and was signed into law in January. Introduced with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the bipartisan legislation establishes a national strategy to support family caregivers across the country.

“Every day, family caregivers do right by their loved ones, and I am proud to say we did right by them when the RAISE Family Caregivers Act was signed into law,” said Senator Baldwin. “When we work together across party lines we can get things done. This bipartisan effort was especially personal to me as I was raised by my maternal grandparents and later served as my grandmother’s primary caretaker as she grew older. I know the challenges that family caregivers face. I’ve listened to family caregivers across Wisconsin. This reform gives family caregivers a seat at the table, and will provide much-needed support for family caregivers to help ensure that our older adults and loved ones with disabilities receive the highest quality care in their own homes.”

While in Wausau, Senator Baldwin met with local Wisconsinites who have spent time caring for loved ones, as well as representatives from AARP Wisconsin, to share how this bipartisan law will begin to support the needs of family caregivers in Wisconsin and across the country.

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and sustain a national strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. Over 60 aging and disability organizations endorsed the legislation, including the AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Arc.

Important Facts on Family Caregivers:

· 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care in 2013.

· Many caregivers are putting their own health at risk since caregivers experience high levels of stress and have a greater incidence of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and depression.

· Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, and as many as 90 percent of them have one or more chronic health conditions.

· Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the aging population. This population is most at risk for multiple and interacting health problems that can lead to disability and the need for round-the-clock care.

Learn more about the RAISE Family Caregivers Act here.

An online version of this release is available here.

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