Overview of caregiver programs

Today in the U.S., 40 million family members provide 37 billion hours of caregiving to their loved ones at an estimated value of $470 billion in care.

Families of birth and families of choice are often the reason that many people with paralysis can continue to live in the community and at home. The Reeve Foundation strongly supports caregiver programs like the National Family Caregiver Support Program and Lifespan Respite Care Program.

Recent action

The National Family Caregiver Support Program was authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA). In 2015, the Senate passed an update to the OAA that would expand the program to include older caregivers (those over age 55) who are providing care for younger family members with disabilities.

The Reeve Foundation endorses this change, which would expand the program to many more parents and other family caregivers supporting people living with paralysis. The next step is for the House of Representatives to take up the bill.

In July 2015, bipartisan Members of Congress introduced the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act in the House and the Senate. If passed, this bill would have required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy for family caregivers, identifying specific actions that government, communities, providers, employers, and others can take to support family caregivers. Unfortunately, while the Senate passed the bill, the House of Representatives did not. However, we are confident that the bill will be reintroduced in the 115th Congress, and will mobilize our advocates in support at that time.

Next steps

The Reeve Foundation will work with disability and aging partners in Washington DC to support the National Family Caregiver Support Program, Lifespan Respite Care programs, and the RAISE Act.

Our goal is to ensure that family caregiver programs and policies are fully funded to help families in a culturally competent manner.


Find out more about the National Family Caregiver Support Program.
Find out more about the Lifespan Respite Care Program.