Breaking news! S.C. awarded another Lifespan Respite Grant!
Today the Administration on Aging in Washington, D.C. awarded South Carolina its 4th Lifespan Respite Grant to continue building a system of respite for ALL ages. It is an indication that South Carolina is leading the nation in its planning and advances in the area of respite. The grant will be administered by the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging, but it is for all age groups.
The Respite Coalition is very proud to have been educating and advocating for respite for all family caregivers since 1999. This helped set the stage for recent increases in funding for families caring for older adults. In 2009, South Carolina was one of the first 12 states to be awarded a “Lifespan Respite” grant by the Administration on Aging. We are one of the few states to receive every Lifespan Respite grant that has been offered.
Special praise goes to co-founder and SCRC President, Kathy Mayfield-Smith, who serves as lead writer of the proposals. She is visionary and tireless, donating literally hundreds of hours each year. But none of it can be done without partnerships with all the state and non-profit organizations and business partners that serve family caregivers. We rely on and are grateful to them for their support and advocacy!
A FEW VOUCHERS ARE STILL AVAILABLE
SCRC still has a small amount of funds for family caregivers caring for elders, as well as a little left for younger and midlife populations. We are handling applications as quickly as we can.
Remember, respite is not only about getting care for your loved one, even if that is really needed. That can be part of what happens while the family caregiver is gone, but respite is focused on the family caregiver having some of their needs met. This is for the family caregiver to take a break, not just for bills or to go to work. The focus is on those taking care of someone who can’t be left for any length of time or overnight.
The eligibility information and application are on the website. Please try to get someone to print it for you. Our printing and mailing costs are sky-rocketing! Family caregivers who recently had a voucher from the Family Caregiver Support Program should call us for a consent form and may not need to complete another application. We are working closely with them to make sure that as many family caregivers as possible have some respite.
Families can not have two vouchers at the same time. This is for intermittent breaks. There is not enough of this money to provide on-going care for several days every week. Families caring for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s also get those vouchers from the Family Caregiver Support Programs. The Alzheimer’s Association only handles “sitter money” for support group or symposium attendance by family caregivers. There will probably not be more than a voucher or two for each family from all of us together.
S.C. LEGISLATORS AWARD $2 MILLION FOR RESPITE.
In 2013, former Lt. Governor Glenn McConnell persuaded both the Senate and House members at the statehouse to appropriate $3 million for respite. This has gone to family caregivers of people over 60, family caregivers over 55 caring for an adult “child” with disabilities, and grandparents over 55 raising grandchildren under 18. SCRC has helped to distribute some of the funds.
In June 2014, the legislature awarded $2 million for fiscal year 2014-15. It will go to the same populations. This amount is non-recurring, meaning that they will have to vote on it each year unless they make it permanently a part of the Lt. Governor’s office on Aging budget. Governor Haley is concerned about raising taxes and about starting something the state cannot keep doing. She vetoed the amounts both years. Both houses of the legislature over-ruled her vetoes.
$1 million less this year means 2,000 fewer families will have a voucher or second one. Younger and midlife populations have almost no funding for respite. See SCRC website for more facts and information.
Speak up, families and professionals who care about respite!
FAMILY CAREGIVERS, IF YOU HAD A RESPITE VOUCHER OR RESPITE FROM CLTC, DDSN, CONTINUUM OF CARE OR ANY WHERE PAID FOR BY PUBLIC FUNDS, PLEASE THANK YOUR S.C. REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATOR.
They are at home now, but need to hear from registered voters in their districts. Tell them about your caregiving and what respite means to you, but at least thank them! Their home office numbers are available as well as at the statehouse.
DON’T KNOW YOUR LEGISLATOR’S NAME?
call (803) 734-2010 for representative & 212-6700 – senator or