As part of our work with the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), ANCOR joined six other organizations in a letter of support for the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act. The letter went to the co-chairs of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. Ensuring proper relief and support for family caregivers of people with disabilities is an important issue for ANCOR because many of our provider members are prepared to offer respite for family caregivers that give essential natural supports for people with disabilities.
As written in the letter:
“More than 65 million Americans provide care for a loved one who has a disability, is chronically ill, or is elderly and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care. For caregivers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), the levels of responsibility are not only greater, but frequently lifelong. There are approximately 3 million family caregivers of persons with I/DD in the U.S. According to The Arc’s Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey, the majority of these family caregivers provide more than 40 hours of care per week.
The grants provided under the Lifespan Respite Care Act give states resources they need to improve their system of respite care. These grants can be used to train respite care providers, implement marketing campaigns to inform families of available respite care options, or implement a respite voucher program, among other options. Furthermore, states are able to give priority to family caregivers who are caring for individuals with disabilities and chronic illness of all ages who are not currently eligible for existing public programs, on Medicaid waiver waiting lists, or for whom finding qualified providers is especially difficult. This population includes individuals between the ages of 18-60; grandparents raising grandchildren; rural family caregivers; culturally diverse groups and others identified as having unmet needs.”