As part of its work with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), ANCOR joined a letter of support for a manager’s amendment to the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program at $50 million over five years. As written in the letter:
“The Lifespan Respite Care Program, though competitive grants to states to establish or enhance statewide Lifespan Respite systems, work to maximize existing resources and help ensure that quality respite is available and accessible to all family caregivers. With more than half of care recipients under age 75 and more than one-third under age 50, Lifespan Respite rightly recognizes caregiving as a lifespan issue and serves families regardless of age or disability.
Though the program has been drastically underfunded since its inception, thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have received grants and are engaged in impressive work such as identifying and coordinating respite services available through various state agencies, including veterans caregiver services; helping unserved families pay for respite through participant-directed voucher programs; addressing the workforce shortage by recruiting and training respite workers and volunteers; and building capacity by awarding mini-grants to community and faith-based agencies for new services; and raising awareness about respite through public education campaigns. Enactment of the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act is necessary to continue this excellent momentum, better coordinate and supply respite care to our nation’s 43 million family caregivers through statewide Lifespan Respite programs and ensure that states are able to sustain the great work they have begun and still allow new states to receive a grant.”