Lifespan Respite Care: And Reduce Costs to the Government

Nov 15, 2012


On behalf of our nation’s family caregivers, I urge you to join me in sending the attached letter to President Obama requesting $50 million in funding for the Lifespan Respite Care program in his FY 2012 budget request to Congress.  Given the serious fiscal constraints currently facing our country, this request has been reduced by one half below the previous fiscal year’s authorized and requested amount, and it can reduce costs to federal and state governments!


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 from continuous caregiving of children and adults with disabilities and chronic conditions.  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. 


In 2007, the economic value of uncompensated family caregiving to the U.S. economy was estimated at $375 billion. This amount is more than total Medicaid spending in 2007, including both federal and state contributions for both medical and long-term care ($311 billion). 


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