NAHC to Congress: Fund the Lifespan Respite Care Program

Posted on Monday, December 21, 2020

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has joined with other likeminded organizations to write to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Appropriations Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives to urge Congress to fully fund Lifespan Respite Care Program, administered by the Administration on Aging, Administration for Community Living. For more than a decade, respite provided by the program has been a vital safety net for the nation’s family caregivers of both children and adults.  During this pandemic, social isolation among family caregivers has intensified. Respite providers may be their only immediate contact for relief and other critical supports.

NAHC appreciates the increase provided in FY 2020 for the Lifespan Respite Care Program. To address the growing need to support family caregivers who are the linchpin of the nation’s long-term services and supports system, we are requesting $10 million in FY 2021, the amount included in the House-passed bill. This program has received no additional funding from the recent emergency supplementals, yet Lifespan Respite grantees continue to respond to daily requests for respite and have created innovative and flexible new ways to meet caregiver needs during this pandemic.

By adapting consumer-directed respite voucher programs that help family caregivers pay for respite, many grantees and their partners were able to continue to offer respite through enhanced flexibilities. The Oklahoma Lifespan Respite program increased the voucher amount; expanded provider eligibility to include someone who lives with the caregiver and care recipient; and lifted the household income requirement. Virginia instituted similar flexibilities to meet increasing requests for respite since the end of April. In Nevada, Colorado and other states, grantees have extended time limits for voucher use to maximize flexibility in meeting family caregiver needs.

Source: NAHC Report

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