The federal government recently took a huge leap forward supporting caregivers. A groundbreaking White House executive order includes more than 50 directives for agencies to improve access to affordable, high-quality support for direct care workers and family caregivers. Family caregivers provide unpaid care to their loved ones who are unable to manage on their own due to illness, disability or aging.
Here in Illinois, the Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition (IFCC) serves as a connection between the federal road map assisting family caregivers, known as the RAISE Act recommendations, and senior leaders in Illinois, as well as caregivers and care coordinators.
The IFCC is convening this statewide group of stakeholders to identify gaps in the system to better support the estimated 1.3 million unpaid family caregivers in Illinois who provide 1.2 billion caregiving hours for loved ones at home and in long-term care facilities.
Supporting family caregivers is the single most cost-effective way for all of us to live in community as we age and to avoid entering skilled nursing facilities before it’s absolutely necessary.
It is imperative that we support caregivers to ensure they can continue providing high-quality care to their loved ones. We urge policymakers, health care providers and the public to recognize the contributions of family caregivers. We call on the Illinois General Assembly to prioritize unpaid family caregivers in the state budget.
— Amy Brennan, executive director, Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition