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Author Topic:   Senate Committee Approves Clinton Legislation to Provide Relief to Family Caregivers
GRM4LOVE
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posted 03-31-2003 07:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRM4LOVE     Edit/Delete Message
March 19, 2003
Senate Committee Approves Clinton Legislation to Provide Relief to Family Caregivers


Washington, DC - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) announced today that the Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2003 was passed unanimously out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee. Senator Clinton sponsored the bill with Senator John W. Warner (VA), Senator John Breaux (LA), Senator Olympia J. Snowe (ME) and Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (MD). This Act would provide $90 million in grants for states and local organizations to increase the availability of respite care in their regions, and to help families care for their dearest ones as they see best.

"As a nation, we rely on family caregivers. Although care-giving is certainly personally rewarding, it can also result in substantial emotional and physical strain and financial hardship. Many caregivers are exhausted and become sick themselves. Many give up jobs to care for loved ones, putting their own financial security in jeopardy. I am very proud to be announcing committee approval of the Lifespan Respite Care Act, which would give our caregivers a much needed break and help them gather the strength they need to continue their vital task," said Senator Clinton. This legislation provides care-givers a break from daily care-giving responsibilities, for a few hours or a few days through home visits or at an on-site respite care-facility.

1 in 5 million Americans care for a family member or friend who is chronically ill, disabled or unable to care for themselves. 4 million Americans with mental retardation or a developmental disability rely on family members for care and supervision. In addition, an estimated 18 million children have chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions that demand caregiver monitoring, management, supervision, and/or treatment beyond that required of children generally. If services provided by family caregivers were replaced by paid services it would cost nearly $200 billion annually.

Often, these caregivers remain in their home, permitting care recipients to live less restricted, more independent lives. As for the disabled and the elderly, remaining at home, surrounded by friends and family in familiar surroundings, has clinical benefits

Approximately 75% of care-givers are women, who too often suffer from increased depression or poor health as a result.

"For the over 3 million family care-givers in New York, the problem is simple: there are never enough hours in the day. The emotional, physical and financial toll that care-giving exacts is extraordinary. But sadly, current respite care programs are unable to provide relief to all overtaxed care-givers who need a helping hand," said Senator Clinton. "I am so pleased the committee has approved this legislation that will allow more care-givers to take advantage of respite services that serve as a lifeline for thousands of individuals struggling to keep their heads above water as they do their very best to care for their loved ones."

The Lifespan Respite Care Act has been endorsed by over 140 national and regional patient care groups.

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