Sunday, December 10, 2006
A New Jersey congressman whose father spent six years caring for his ailing wife wanted other families in similar situations to have someplace to turn when a primary caregiver needs a break. Republican Mike Ferguson got that wish Wednesday when the House approved his "Lifespan Respite Care Act," which provides $289 million over five years for states to train volunteers and provide other services to an estimated 50 million families caring at home for adults and children with special needs.
Ferguson's office said the Senate is poised to vote on the issue before the lame duck session is over. The measure passed in the House by a voice vote.
Ferguson said his siblings and other relatives pitched in to care for his mother when his father, Thomas, needed a break. Roberta Ferguson died in 2003 after battling multiple myeloma.
"I thank my dad for providing my family and many others with a remarkable example of the loving care that a family caregiver can provide," Ferguson said on the House floor. "Today's action by this House represents an important victory nationwide to family caregivers. Your selfless sacrifice is appreciated and help is on the way."
The bill would provide one-stop shopping of sorts for family caregivers to find respite care. The money allocated by the bill would be doled out by Health and Human Services to states to administer in the forms of grants.
Read more at AP/Yahoo. Posting submitted by Prof. Katherine Pearson.