Pennsylvania has received $187,000 in federal funds for caregiver support services offered through the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, the Department of Aging announced today.
"Family caregivers make valuable contributions to maintaining the dignity and independence of older adults and people with disabilities," said Secretary of Aging John Michael Hall. "The federal grant will be a significant help in providing respite for caregivers who need it. There are many challenges in caring for a family member who may, in some cases, require a great deal of assistance. But the rewards are great and loved ones are able to remain in the home setting, where most of them prefer to live."
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the National Family Caregiver Support Program, the creation of which allowed the state to expand its support to family caregivers. The State Family Caregiver Support Program, implemented in 1991, assists 4,500 people in the program.
The federal grant, provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was awarded to the Office of Long-Term Living to implement the Lifespan Respite Care Program. Pennsylvania is one of 12 states to receive the grant this year.
The grant will enable the state to identify resources for caregivers. It will also provide for the development of community-based respite care programs for caregivers in the form of stress-reduction instruction and hiring others to occasionally provide services for the care receiver.
Family members and neighbors who provide support to those needing assistance are a key part of the long-term living system that allows people to remain in their homes rather than move to institutional settings.
src: PA Department of Aging.