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Society Joins 48 National Organizations to Support Caregiving Legislation

May 1, 2019

The National MS Society has joined 48 national organizations supporting $20 million in funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Act programs in fiscal year (FY) 2020 as part of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Thanks to the hard work of MS activists, the “Dear Colleague” letter supporting this program had 36 co-signers this year, 7 more than last year.

The Lifespan Respite Care Program was established in 2006 and was the only federal program addressing respite issues for family caregivers. Family caregivers in the US provide 80 percent of long term care – including for people living with Multiple Sclerosis. This program has administered grants in 37 states and the District of Columbia who have applied for the program to help coordinate federal, state, and local resources to better streamline the delivery of respite and the training of caregivers themselves. The Lifespan Respite Care Program recognizes caregiving as a lifespan issue and serves families regardless of age or disability.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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