Lifespan Respite Care Program

Why the Program is Needed

Family caregivers provide the majority of long term services and supports in the U.S. In 2009, 29% of the population provided some type of care for a relative [1]. Many experience significant physical, financial, and psychological stress due to their caregiver roles and require respite - 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. There are approximately 2.9 million family caregivers of persons with I/DD and most have significant unmet needs for respite care.  Nearly 80% of family caregivers of persons with I/DD report being dissatisfied with the availability of respite care and 50% report dissatisfaction with the quality of these services, according to The Arc’s Finds survey.

What it Does

Increases the availability and coordination of respite care services for family caregivers of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.  The Administration on Aging awards grants of up to $200,000 each to eligible state agencies which must work in collaboration with a public or private non-profit statewide respite care coalition or organization. Grants are awarded to expand and enhance respite services in the states; improve coordination and dissemination of respite services; streamline access to programs; fill gaps in service where necessary; and improve the overall quality of the respite services currently available.

Authorizing Legislation

The Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 300ii)

Recent Funding

Please see the table on the Funding for Federal Disability-related Programs page.

For More Information

[1] Caregiving in the U.S.: 2009. National Alliance for Caregiving/AARP, November 2009.