(Jackson, Miss.) – November is National Caregiver Month. The month is dedicated to supporting caregivers as they care for others by providing resources for self-care, advocacy, and de-stressing for caregivers. This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock.”
Through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), MDHS offers two primary programs to assist caregivers: the Mississippi Family Caregiver Support Program and the Lifespan Respite Program.
DAAS is ramping up a program designed to assist those caring for our most vulnerable citizens to provide for and protect our aging population.
“As our population ages, caregiving programs meet a vital need of our Aging communities,” said Kenyada Blake, Director of the MDHS Division of Aging and Adult Services. “The major goal of the Lifespan Respite Program is to enhance community awareness and access to a wider array of options of respite systems in Mississippi.”
Under the Older Americans Act, MDHS offers the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This program provides temporary relief time for the regular or primary caregiver (spouse, child, or relative) of an ill, functionally impaired older individual or dementia patient that requires constant in-home care.
The Mississippi Family, Caregiver Support Program, works in partnership with the 10 Area Agencies on Aging and local community service providers to provide five essential services for family caregivers, including:
- Information to caregivers about available services.
- Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to services.
- Individual counseling, the organization of support groups, caregiver training to assist the caregivers in making decisions and solving problems relating to their caregiving roles.
- Respite care enables caregivers to be temporarily relieved from caregiving responsibilities.
- Supplemental services, on a limited basis, complement the care provided by caregivers.
The Lifespan Respite Program provides respite care vouchers for family members providing unpaid care for a dependent person of any age with a significant disability or chronic illness requiring care.
The respite care voucher opportunity includes an initial voucher of $300, a repeat voucher of $300 after six months, and an emergency respite voucher in the amount of $400. There is a limited number of vouchers for each level of care.
Vouchers can only be used to pay for breaks (respite) for caregivers. They may NOT be used to:
- Pay the family caregiver directly for the care he/she is providing
- Pay for care that occurred before the voucher was issued
- Pay medical bills or purchase medical supplies
- Offset the cost of paid care already in place
To learn more about the Family Caregiver Support Program and the Lifespan Respite Program, call the Mississippi Access to Care Center at 844-822-4622.
For more information on these and other programs offered for adults and seniors, visit https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/adults-seniors/