November is National Family Caregivers Month, when more than 15 million Americans caring for someone with Alzheimer’s are recognized and honored. Caring for Alzheimer’s victims extends beyond effects on health; it also includes negative effects on income and financial security.

I was one of those caregivers, providing care for my husband Roland, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. A heavy impact was made on our financial status as well as going through emotional stress due to the burden of caring for my loved one 24 hours a day.

Congress is now considering legislation that would provide much-needed support to family caregivers. The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act would facilitate the creation of national strategy to address the many issues facing caregivers, including education and training, financial stability and security.

In September, the Senate unanimously passed the RAISE Act, sending a message of support to our nation’s caregivers. I am so thankful to Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for supporting the act, which has yet to be passed by the House of Representatives. Please join me in asking and encouraging Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin for their support.

Elizabeth Martin

advocate, Alzheimer’s Association