UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Applauds Passage of the Families First Act, but Urges Action to Provide Paid Leave for Family Caregivers
Washington, D.C. (March 19, 2020) – UsAgainstAlzheimer’s issued the following statement commending Congress on the speedy passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), but called for continued action to provide paid leave for family caregivers. This legislative package, passed by Congress with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump, increases funding for Medicaid, provides initial income security for individuals and businesses, strengthens food security programs, and improves patient access to coronavirus testing at no cost.
“This legislation is an important step in addressing the impact of COVID-19 on American families and communities. However, the coronavirus’ disproportionate effect on older Americans and their caregivers underscores the need for continued Congressional leadership and urgent action to provide expanded and more inclusive paid leave benefits.
“The narrow scope of this bill’s paid leave provisions puts 16 million dementia caregivers in the position of choosing between their economic security and the health of their loved ones. More than 5.8 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and more than 16 million family caregivers provide an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care – valued at $244 billion. Comprehensive paid family and medical leave is critically important for these families.”
“A recent survey by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s found that two in three dementia caregivers think Congress should make paid family and medical leave a priority. In addition, research from UsAgainstAlzheimer’s found that one in two employed dementia caregivers reported that the utilization of paid leave benefits improved their emotional well-being.
“While the legislation provides emergency paid sick leave for employees “caring for an individual subject or advised to quarantine or isolation” including seniors, the Families First Act stops short of expanding paid leave for individuals who have lost access to home health providers and adult day centers. This is of particular concern to the nearly 60 percent of dementia caregivers who provide care while balancing work obligations.
“We look forward to ongoing bipartisan collaboration and legislative efforts to fully support the millions of families touched by dementia. With older adults being more severely affected by the coronavirus, paid leave is a much-needed lifeline for family caregivers navigating our nation’s current public health crisis.”
About UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2)
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is a disruptive advocacy and research-focused organization that is pushing for expanding treatments and accelerating towards a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. UsA2’s transformative programming is laser-focused on proactive brain health across the lifespan and understanding what matters most across the lived experiences of those affected by Alzheimer’s in the service of preventing, treating and curing this disease. We are working to ensure that all communities have their voices heard, and get a chance to be brain healthy from the earliest years while building resistance