Up to one quarter of individuals living with MS require long-term care services at some point during the course of the disease and often, a family member steps into this caregiver role. Approximately 50 million family caregivers in the nation are responsible for 80% of long-term care. The value of uncompensated family care giving services keeps growing and is currently estimated at $375 billion a year.
The Lifespan Respite Care Act's enactment in 2006 represented a major step forward in recognizing the importance of and addressing the needs of family caregivers. While the law offers a great opportunity, since its creation, it has been severely underfunded.
MS activists achieved substantial support for Lifespan Respite in the U.S. House of Representatives. Contact your Senators today and urge them to support full funding for Lifespan Respite in FY 2011 by signing a Dear Colleague letter circulated by Senator Bob Casey (PA).