Congressman Levin’s Bill to Support Family Caregivers Clears Committee

September 18, 2019
Press Release
Included as a provision of the Older Americans Act reauthorization, Congressman Levin’s and Congresswoman Stefanik’s bill to support caregivers today passed out of the Education and Labor Committee.

A bipartisan bill authored by Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI-09) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) aimed at providing support to in-home caregivers today passed out of the House Education and Labor Committee as part of the Dignity in Aging Act. The bill, first introduced as the Supporting Family Caregivers Act, would facilitate the assessment of in-home caregivers’ needs to determine what resources would help them provide care.

“One of the best ways to improve home health care is to protect the health and wellbeing of the caregivers who provide it,” Congressman Andy Levin said. “Supporting caregivers starts with understanding their specific needs, which is why Congresswoman Stefanik and I authored the Supporting Family Caregivers Act. This legislation will help us determine what kinds of targeted support caregivers need as they provide in-home care to loved ones. I’m proud that the Education and Labor Committee today voted to support caregivers as we reaffirm our commitment to helping seniors with the passage of the Dignity in Aging Act. I’m grateful to Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Foxx and Dignity in Aging Act sponsor Bonamici for supporting this important bill.”

“I am pleased that language from our legislation, the Supporting Family Caregivers Act, passed though committee today as part of the bipartisan Dignity in Aging Act,” Congresswoman Stefanik said. “Our bill encourages the use of individual assessments to identify the needs of caregivers and allow services to be targeted more effectively to patients. This more person- and family-centered approach to care will ensure that both caregivers and those who require assistance in our district are provided with adequate services to ensure the best possible health outcomes.”

“AARP appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Andy Levin and Elise Stefanik in support of family caregivers,” said Bill Sweeney, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for AARP. “We are pleased that the Supporting Family Caregivers Act is part of the Older Americans Act legislation approved by the House Education and Labor Committee today. This will help to ensure caregivers get the support that is most meaningful to them as every family’s needs are unique. We also urge Congress to promptly reauthorize OAA to give Americans the support they need to live at home with independence and dignity as they age.”

The Supporting Family Caregivers Act encourages the use of assessments to identify caregivers’ individual needs and challenges, thereby allowing services to be targeted to each person more effectively and efficiently. Although resources are currently available to family caregivers, direct feedback through assessments would improve the quality of the support they receive.

The Dignity in Aging Act is a bipartisan update to Older Americans Act (OAA) that responds to the challenges facing a growing generation of aging Americans. The OAA reauthorization would increase funding for all Older Americans Act programs, provide support to caregivers, put a greater focus on addressing social isolation, improve economic opportunity and engagement for older individuals and more.