FY13 Lifespan Respite Funding Date: 3/14/2012: Assist Families Caring for Loved Ones With Disabilities and Chronic Conditions

Mar 4, 2012


On behalf of more than 65 million family caregivers in the U.S., I urge you to join me in sending the attached letter to House appropriators requesting $5 million in funding for the Lifespan Respite Care program in Fiscal Year 2013.  Given the serious fiscal constraints currently facing our country, this request has been reduced to ten percent of last year’s funding request.


As the only federal program to address respite accessibility and affordability issues for families regardless of age or disability, it serves a critical and unique purpose.  Respite care provides temporary relief for family members engaged in the full-time task of caring for their aging or disabled loved ones with special needs.  It decreases the need for professional long-term care, resulting in significant savings for the health care system and taxpayers.  Access to respite services has also been shown to improve caregiver health and well-being, promote family stability, avoid or delay more costly out-of-home placements and reduce the likelihood of abuse and neglect. 


The annual economic value of uncompensated family caregiving to the U.S. economy was estimated at $450 billion, more than total Medicaid spending in 2009. With proper community supports like respite services, we can prevent the dramatic shift of these costs onto our health care system.


I encourage you to join me in supporting over 65 million family caregivers by signing onto the attached letter.  For more information or to sign on to this letter, please contact Todd Adams (Langevin) at Todd.Adams@mail.house.gov.