Washington, DC - AARP is very pleased to announce that AARP National Volunteer President Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the newly formed Family Caregiving Advisory Council set up under the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2017.

“We are so honored that Dr. Georges was one of the select few representatives appointed to the Family Caregiving Advisory Council,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “Dr. Georges is a knowledgeable and passionate advocate for America’s 40 million family caregivers and has a deep commitment to this issue rooted in her many years of professional and personal experience.”

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act, signed into law in January 2018, requires HHS to develop a strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers who provide an estimated $470 billion annually in unpaid assistance to help parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently. The law established an advisory body, the Family Caregiving Advisory Council, to bring together private and public sector stakeholders to make recommendations that communities, providers, government, and others can take to help make the big responsibilities of caregiving—that range from bathing and dressing to complex medical care and financial assistance—a little bit easier. 

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our nation’s care system,” said Dr. Georges. “As a registered nurse and someone who has been a family caregiver, I am deeply grateful for this important opportunity to help improve the lives of millions of current and future family caregivers.”  

Combined with her professional expertise, Dr. Georges’ personal experience as a caregiver gives her an important perspective on the financial, emotional, and physical challenges that family caregivers face as they care for their loved ones. For seven years, she served as her husband’s primary caregiver as he struggled with Parkinson’s disease.

AARP appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) and former Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) to pass the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. It was signed into law by President Trump last year.