ACL recently awarded grants to eight states to support lifespan respite care programs with the goal of improving the delivery and quality of respite services available to families across the age and disability spectrum.
Maryland and Mississippi were awarded new state grants totaling $400,000 for three-year projects. The funding will be used to plan, establish, and expand lifespan respite care systems that provide new and planned emergency respite services, train and recruit respite workers and volunteers, and assist caregivers with accessing needed services.
Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, and Washington have been awarded one-year expansion supplements totaling more than $750,000 to build upon their work developing an integrated and sustainable respite care system. All projects will focus primarily on the direct provision of respite services to fill identified gaps in service delivery and address unmet needs of family caregivers across the lifespan.
Caregivers are often referred to as the backbone of America’s long-term care system. A 2009 study estimated that 65.7 million people in nearly 32% of U.S. household acted as unpaid family caregivers.
Respite care offers individuals or family members temporary relief from the daily routine and stress that can come with providing care. Respite can play a critical role in strengthening family stability and maintaining the health of the family caregiver.
Since 2009, ACL has awarded competitive lifespan respite grants to 35 states and the District of Columbia. Each state collaborates with an Aging and Disability Resource Center/NWD System as well as a public or private non-profit statewide respite care coalition or organization.