Home - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Skip to navigation Skip to content

Ask Congress to Support Respite for 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. Contact your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators today.

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

Contact

*Required fields
 
 

Message

Please Support Respite for Family Caregivers

Dear [Decision Maker],

As an MS activist, I am contacting you today to ask that you support the Lifespan Respite Care Program by providing $4 Million for the program in the final FY 2017 spending bill and passing the reauthorization bill, H.R. 3913. Our nation's more than 40 million family caregivers are the backbone of our long-term services and supports system. They provide care so that loved ones can stay home for as long as possible and avoid premature admission to costlier institutional facilities.

While caregiving is vital, it can be incredibly stressful. 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 was enacted in 2006 with strong bipartisan support to help provide family caregivers the support they need. It provides competitive grants to states establish or enhance statewide Lifespan Respite systems that maximize existing resources and help ensure that quality respite is available and accessible. With more than half of care recipients under age 75 and almost one-third (28%) under age 50, Lifespan Respite rightly recognizes caregiving as a lifespan issue and serves families regardless of age or disability.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have received grants and are identifying and coordinating respite services available through various state agencies, including veterans caregiver services; helping unserved families pay for respite through participant-directed voucher programs or mini-grants to community-based agencies; building respite capacity by recruiting and training respite workers and volunteers; and raising awareness about respite through public education campaigns. Originally authorized through Fiscal Year 2011, reauthorization of the program and $4 Million for it in FY 2017 will allow family caregivers to get the quality respite care they need.

Please help support family caregivers by cosponsoring the Lifespan Respite Care Program today!

Sincerely,