DES to Expand Respite Program for Caregivers

The Department of Economic Security (DES) Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Arizona Caregiver Coalition (ACC) has been awarded a grant that will allow it to expand its caregiver respite program, and provide daytime respite services free of charge to caregivers at all 20 state-licensed adult day health centers.  The $262,623 grant will be used, along with federal and state funds, for the expansion of the Lifespan Respite Program.

“Caring for a loved one can take a tremendous toll on the caregiver, emotionally and physically,” said DES Director Michael Trailor.  “As a result of this award, we are able to expand resources to offer caregivers much needed time to take care of themselves.”

With the help of this grant, ACC will continue working to enhance current statewide respite services to provide prepaid community based choices—fulfilling the unmet need for caregivers of low-income families by providing respite, along with access to transportation.  With a rising population of aging persons, more individuals are taking on the role of caregiver for friends and family members, but the support and assistance is not growing at the same rate. As a result, more individuals need services and are being added to a wait list.

In Arizona, the rate for private pay homecare aides averages $20 per hour, while the rate for adult day health centers averages about $80 for an eight hour day. The partnered adult day health centers offer a variety of care options such as showers, three meals a day and nursing supervision, which includes medication management, recreational activities and diagnosis specific care.

Criteria for eligible clients will remain the same: the caregiver must live in the same home as the care recipient; the caregiver must be 18 or older and may not be receiving any other publicly-funded form of respite care. Caregivers will still have the option to be reimbursed by ACC for costs associated with home-based respite care.

Contact the Arizona Caregiver Coalition by calling 1-888-737-7494 or by visiting www.AZCaregiver.org

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