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Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 357-3507
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family caregivers to receive federal respite support

Twelve states to develop and enhance coordinated, accessible, community-based respite care programs for caregivers across the lifespan.

HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee today announced grant awards totaling approximately $2.25 million to twelve states to implement the Lifespan Respite Care Program. Grant awards were made to the following states: Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin, and Utah.

Respite provides temporary relief to caregivers from the ongoing responsibility of caring for individuals of all ages with special needs. “Caregivers are extraordinary people who make daily sacrifices to care for persons of all ages with special needs. Respite gives these caregivers a much needed break, allowing them to re-charge and then continue to successfully in their caregiving roles. Caregivers are a central element in our long term care system,” said Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee.

The Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006 defines Lifespan Respite Care Programs as “coordinated systems of accessible, community-based respite care services for family caregivers of children or adults with special needs.” The Lifespan Respite Care Program is intended to enable states to better coordinate existing respite services, identify service gaps, and create and monitor new respite services while providing opportunities to recruit, train and support paid and volunteer respite providers and raise public awareness about the need for and importance of respite services.

The States funded to implement Lifespan Respite Care Programs will expand and strengthen respite care services to family caregivers of children or adults of all ages with special needs. Grantees will also strengthen statewide dissemination and coordination of respite care, improve access to respite programs, and enhance the quality of respite care services. The ultimate goal of these activities is the reduction of family caregiver strain.

Grants were awarded to the following agencies:

State Agency
Delaware Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Kansas Kansas Department on Aging
Louisiana Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation
Minnesota Minnesota Board on Aging
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
New York New York State Office for the Aging
Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Aging
Utah Utah Department of Human Services
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Health Services

The 12 states awarded Lifespan Respite Program grants today join the twelve that received grants in 2009, for a total of 24 states working to improve the availability and quality of respite services across the lifespan. For more information about the implementation of the Lifespan Respite Care Program and to learn more about the key activities of each of the grantees, please visit AoA’s web site at: