Press Releases

Representatives Trahan and Comer Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Support Caregivers of Opioid Addiction Victims

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA) and James Comer (R-KY) introduced the “National Family Caregiver Support Program Cap Elimination Act of 2019.” This legislation would remove a funding cap under the Older Americans Act (OAA) that unnecessarily limits critical aid for older relative caregivers, including grandparents who are serving in caregiving roles due to the opioid addiction epidemic.

“Congress has an obligation to take care of the most vulnerable among us, like our senior citizens. A growing number of our seniors are assuming care-giving responsibilities as a result of the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic. All too often, grandmothers and grandfathers are stepping up to care for grandchildren whose parents have either fallen victim to addiction or are seeking treatment for substance use disorder. For many who are retired, this puts an increased financial strain on their largely fixed incomes. Addiction is already hard enough on families. I am proud to work with my colleague, Congressman Comer, to strike the 10% cap once and for all,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.

“As the Representative of a rural district that has been devastated by the opioid epidemic, I'm proud to join with Rep. Trahan to support older Americans serving in caregiving roles for children affected by the drug crisis. Older relatives – usually grandparents – oftentimes are on the front lines of caring for children whose parents have fallen victim to the opioid crisis. Removing the current cap and providing flexibility in the usage of these funds is a necessary step to serve our nation's children and their hard-working caregivers who have been caught in the midst of this epidemic. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to support families and children impacted by the drug crisis,” said Congressman James Comer.

“The National Family Caregiver Support Program is a crucial tool that Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley relies upon to deliver vital services to our clients and their families. However, the program’s 10% funding cap on services that may be provided to seniors who care for a young person has created unnecessary red-tape and gotten in the way of our work. It is particularly unwise at a time when more and more grandparents are taking over the primary caregiver role for a grandchild due to the opioid epidemic. Congress should pass Rep. Trahan’s bill to strike this unnecessary cap so that we can get back to helping seniors,” said Joan Hatem-Roy, CEO of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore Elder Services