Document Type

Policy Brief


University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies and University of New Hampshire

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Abstract/ Summary

The Lifespan Respite Care Act (PL 109-442) provides critical support for families caring for loved ones at home. Family caregivers in the United States provide an estimated $470 billion worth of uncompensated care—a figure that exceeds the total Medicaid budget for 2013 (NAC Task Force, 2016). According to the National Respite Coalition, access to respite care helps protect caregiver health, strengthens families, keeps marriages intact, and prevents the need for expensive institutional long-term care. Reauthorization of the Lifespan Respite Care Act is essential to the well-being of individuals in need of long-term care and their families affected by long-term health care needs. Respite services are utilized by a variety of populations: individuals with disabilities, individuals living with chronic illness, veterans, and the aging population (NAC Task Force, 2016). Research consistently indicates positive outcomes of respite care and reduces the need for costly residential care.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

The 2015-2016 Cohort of New Hampshire Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH LEND) Program Trainees. (2016, April). Policy Brief: Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (PDF). Durham: University of New Hampshire; Orono: University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies.


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