COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Aging last week received a $200,000 Lifespan Respite Care Program grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging. The department will partner with the Ohio Children and Family First Council, the Ohio Respite Coalition and other partners to expand efforts to support caregiver respite at all ages and to promote respite as a valuable tool in supporting family caregivers who form the backbone of the state's long-term care system.
"These funds allow us to create an integrated system for respite care across the lifespan and will bring us one step closer to ensuring all Ohioans have access to quality, person-centered care in the settings they prefer," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department. "About 80 percent of long-term care in Ohio is provided by informal caregivers, such as family members and friends. Caregivers who are aware of and access support programs such as respite care are more efficient, have less depression and anxiety and are better able to give the people they care for the choice and independence they want and deserve."
The three-year grant will support the efforts of the recently formed Ohio Respite Coalition to better coordinate existing respite services, identify areas currently lacking respite services and create the appropriate services for caregivers of older adults as well as those who care for children and adults of any age with special needs. The initiative also will develop new ways to recruit, train and support paid and volunteer respite providers and raise public awareness about the need for and importance of respite services. Ohio will contribute approximately $68,000 to the project in the form of in-kind commitment of staff time and resources. Ohio's grant represents a share of more than $1.1 million the Administration on Aging awarded to six states.
Ohio Respite Coalition members represent a range of needs, caregivers, disabilities and organizations. The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, the Nisonger Center at the Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will serve as research partners for this project.
More information about the national Lifespan Respite Care Program is available on the Administration on Aging's website (www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/HCLTC/LRCP/).
About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
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