FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9/24/2009

 Illinois Department on Aging Awarded a Federal Grant to Enhance Community-Based Respite Care ProgramsIllinois is one of only 12 states chosen

Illinois is one of only 12 states chosen

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) has been named a recipient of a federal grant to develop and enhance coordinated, accessible, community-based respite care programs for caregivers. U.S Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee made the announcement today that Illinois has been chosen to receive the award of up to $200,000 for the Lifespan Respite Care Program.

Respite is short-term care that helps families take a break from the daily routine and stress of caring for a loved one. It can be provided in the client’s home or in a variety of out of home settings.

"The need for respite care is crucial for families and caregivers who are sometimes faced with overwhelming challenges to keep their loved ones at home," said Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson. "The caregiver is an essential element in the success of long-term care and the Department is pleased to have been chosen to further enhance programs and services to encourage and sustain them."

As a grantee, IDoA will receive targeted technical assistance and support as it works to improve coordination and dissemination of service delivery, improve access and fill gaps in service delivery, and improve overall quality of respite services currently available. The ultimate goal is the reduction of family caregiver strain.

According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Program was made possible through the enactment of the Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006 which defines respite care as "planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with a special need in order to provide temporary relief to the family caregiver of that child or adult."

Illinois was one of only 12 states chosen to receive the Lifespan Respite Care Program Award. The other states were Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, contact the Senior HelpLine.

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