The Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006 defines respite care as “planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with a special need in order to provide temporary relief to the family caregiver of that child or adult.” Respite services may be provided in a variety of settings, including the home, adult day care centers, or residential care facilities.
It is estimated that Colorado is home to about 540,000 unpaid caregivers providing personal care and assistance to functionally impaired individuals, both adults and children. Family caregivers are the main provider of long-term care services in all states.
These staggering statistics clearly reflect the pressing need for respite care in Colorado. No one can expend their energy, strength, and time giving to someone else, especially in the demanding role of family caregiver, without replenishing their own reserves.
Colorado was awarded a federal grant in 2011 to create the Colorado Lifespan Respite Care Project. In the 2012 legislative session, the National MS Society supported HB 12-1226 that implemented a surcharge on crimes committed against at-risk adults and juveniles. This surcharge will support sustaining the Colorado Lifespan Respite Care Project. In 2013 the project will return to the Capitol to expand the bill to include more offenses against at-risk adults and juveniles.
If you would like to be involved with the Lifespan Respite Project, contact the Chapter's Public Policy Coordinator Allie Moore or 303-698-5435.