Lifespan Respite Program provides assistance and support
to those caring for our aging and vulnerable population
(Jackson, Miss.) – In its ongoing efforts to provide for and protect our aging population, the Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services is ramping up a program designed to provide assistance to those caring for our most vulnerable population.
Through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), MDHS offers two primary programs to assist caregivers. A caregiver is defined as any individual, regardless of age, providing care for a person 60 years or older; or a grandparent or other relative caregiver, 60 years or older, caring for a child 18 years or younger.
“Caregiving programs continue to become a vital part 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, and 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 basic 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 to enable caregivers to be temporarily relieved from caregiving responsibilities.
- Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by caregivers.
DAAS also offers the Lifespan Respite Program, which 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/.
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