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Supporting Family Caregivers

Caregivers of people with MS spend about 24 hours a week providing care. Of these caregivers, 64% are emotionally drained, 32% experience depression and 22% have lost a job due to caregiving responsibilities. The Lifespan Respite Care Program helps states better coordinate and deliver quality respite care that improves the health of family caregivers and allows the person living with MS to continue living at home.

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What We Are Trying to Accomplish

To continue funding the Lifespan Respite Care Program so that our nation’s more than 60 million family caregivers have access to quality respite care.

Why It’s Important

Caregivers of people with MS spend about 24 hours a week providing care. Of these caregivers, 64% are emotionally drained, 32% experience depression and 22% have lost a job due to caregiving responsibilities. The Lifespan Respite Care Program helps states better coordinate and deliver quality respite care that improves the health of family caregivers and allows the person living with MS to continue living at home.

Happening at the National Level

In 2019, Congress passed and the President signed into law, a $2 million increase for the Lifespan Respite Care Program. Through this program 37 and the District of Columbia have received grants to establish or enhance their statewide Lifespan Respite Care Programs. States have, for instance, established statewide databases of available respite care and provided vouchers to families to choose and purchase quality respite care.

The Lifespan Respite Care Program received $6.1 million in FY 2020. The Society is advocating for additional funding for the program and recently 28 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee requesting $10 million in Fiscal Year 2021. The Society is also advocating to reauthorize the program for 5 years.

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Learn more about how our elected officials can support caregivers.

State Information

Interested in taking action nearby? Simply filter by state and see what you can do in your area.

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