Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lifespan Respite Care Act

Respite care, which includes crisis care, provides temporary relief for caregivers from the ongoing responsibility of caring for an individual of any age with special needs, or who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.
Respite is often the most frequently requested and needed family support service. Respite is first and foremost a preventive strategy that strengthens families, protects family health and well being, and allows individuals to remain in their own home. Respite has been shown to prevent or delay more costly out-of-home placements, reduce the risk of abuse or neglect, and to help keep all family members safe and stable.
Indiana is a state which currently does NOT have a respite coalition. Please urge your representative to support such an initiative here as well.

The Lifespan Respite Care Act was signed into law in 2006, but has not received funding from Congress for its implementation. We can change that by urging Congress to include funding for the program in the FY09 Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bills that will soon be drafted by both the House and Senate.

ACTION:

In the US House of Representatives, Congressmen Langevin (D-RI) and Ferguson (R-NJ) have sent a “Dear Colleague” letter (below) to all members of the House urging them to sign onto a letter that will go to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education appropriations to fund Lifespan Respite in 2009. Please call or visit your Representatives today and urge them to sign onto this letter (see below).

Lifespan Respite Act

To identify your federal legislators, visit http://www.congress.org and type in your zip code. Follow the instructions provided to send an email to your legislators. You can cut and paste the bulleted message that follows into the space provided and click send. If you prefer to reach your legislators by phone, call 202-224-3121 and ask for the member's office; then ask for appropriations staff and offer the following message:

Lifespan Respite Act

MESSAGE:

* The Lifespan Respite Care Act was passed by Congress in 2006 to make respite more accessible and affordable to family caregivers, regardless of age or disability, but to date, Congress has provided no funding ($0.00).
* In our state of ____________, family caregivers need respite desperately, regardless of the age or disability of the care recipient. [Supplement with personal stories, state data on respite need, including waiting lists, costs, etc.]
* Representatives Langevin and Ferguson have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter asking you to sign onto a letter to the House Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education urging full funding ($53.3 million) for the Lifespan Respite Care program in the FY09 Labor, HHS, and Education funding bill.
* TAKE ACTION in support of family caregivers. On behalf of all the family caregivers in your state, please contact Congressman Langevin or Ferguson and sign onto this letter today.
* We finally have an opportunity to provide the one service -- respite -- family caregivers most frequently request and say they need to go on and at the same time provide significant savings to our long-term care system.
* If you need more information about the need for respite in your district or state, please feel free to contact me or __________________________(e.g. state respite coalition contact, state or community-based agency contact, or other organizational representative).

________________________________________________________________

“Dear Colleague Letter”

Lifespan Respite Act

From Reps. Langevin and Ferguson

to House Members asking them to sign the letter that follows:

Lifespan Respite Act

Support Families Caring for Loved Ones

Fund Respite Care Programs in FY09

Lifespan Respite Act

February 21, 2008

Lifespan Respite Act

THIS LETTER IS CONSIDERED A PROGRAMMATIC REQUEST AND DOES NOT REQUIRE MEMBERS TO SUBMIT INDIVIDUAL DISCLOSURE FORMS

Lifespan Respite Act

Dear Colleague:

Lifespan Respite Act

On behalf of our nation’s family caregivers, we urge you to join us in sending the attached letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education requesting the fully authorized amount of $53.3 million in funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Act programs in fiscal year (FY) 2009.

In 2005, approximately $207 billion was spent on professional long-term care services; 49 percent paid for by Medicaid and 20 percent paid for by Medicare. However, voluntary family caregiving accounts for 80 percent of the overall long-term care provided in the United States, at a savings of more than $300 billion annually.

Lifespan Respite Act

Respite care, which provides temporary relief from continuous caregiving, 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.

We encourage you to join us in supporting family caregivers by signing onto the attached letter. For more information or to sign on to this letter, please contact Todd Adams in Congressman Langevin’s office at 5-2735 or Todd.Adams@mail.house.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or Derick Apt in Congressman Ferguson’s office at 5-5361 or Derick.Apt@mail.house.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Lifespan Respite Act

Sincerely,

/S JIM LANGEVIN

Member of Congress

/S MIKE FERGUSON

Member of Congress

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Ask Your House Representative to sign onto this letter:

Lifespan Respite Act

March XX, 2008

Lifespan Respite Act

The Honorable David R. Obey

Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor,

Health & Human Services, and Education

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives

2358-B Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Lifespan Respite Act

The Honorable James T. Walsh

Ranking Member, Subcommittee Labor,

Health & Human Services, and Education

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515


Additional information can be found at this website:
http://chtop.org/ARCH.html

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