On August 15, 2014, PAN joined 38 national organizations representing all ages and disabilities in supporting the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4683) and the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act of 2014 (H.R. 4892). Both bills, led by Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI), reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program for $15 million a year for five years.
The Administration for Community Living’s Lifespan Respite Care Program was created by Congress in 2006, providing competitive grants for states to establish or enhance statewide systems that help ensure quality respite is available and accessible to all family caregivers. Respite, short-term care that offers family members temporary relief from the daily routine and stress of providing care, is a critical component to maintain caregiver health and well-being. Since 2009, Congress has appropriated approximately $2.5 million per year to implement Lifespan Respite Programs. As of 2012, competitive grants of up to $200,000 each were awarded to eligible agencies in thirty states and the District of Columbia.