On April 10, the Senate approved, by voice vote, legislation (S. 538) to provide assistance to family caregivers.
Sponsored by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), S. 538 is designed to provide relief for unpaid caregivers by having a paid care worker come in and help for a few hours or days. Additionally, the bill would authorize lifespan respite grants at $90.5 million in FY2004 and funding as needed through FY2008. The grants would be used for the development of lifespan respite care services and the evaluation of those services, respite care worker and volunteer training programs, or training programs for family caregivers to assist them in making informed decisions about respite care services.
The bill also would authorize $500,000 in each of FY2004 through FY2008 for the establishment of a National Lifespan Respite Resource Center.