Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey (R,I,C-Peru) today voted for legislation to improve respite care for North Country residents. “So many North Country families need and rely on respite care, and it really is disheartening that the Assembly Majority chose not to move this bill forward,” Duprey said.
New York state has approximately 1.7 million caregivers who spend countless hours and resources caring for their elderly relatives. These caregivers play an essential role in the long-term care of older adults, helping them stay at home as long as possible.
The legislation creates a statewide centralized program to provide direction, resources and support for the establishment of a community-based NYS Lifespan Respite Program. The bill (A.3615) was not allowed to advance by the Assembly Majority. Other provisions of the bill would:
- Direct the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) to establish the NYS Lifespan Respite Care Program that will develop and encourage statewide coordination of respite care and work with community-based private nonprofit, for-profit or public agencies and interested citizens groups.
- Provide that each community lifespan respite care program established shall involve key local individuals and agencies in the planning process. Establish a local advisory committee to offer insight as to how the program would best serve the needs of the community.
Families who receive occasional respite care services are less likely to request admission of an individual to a nursing home or other out-of-home care at public expense, thus saving the state and taxpayers money in the long run. The 2000 census shows 2,370,873 New Yorkers are 65 and older, of which 920,687 are suffering from a disability.
“Caregivers should have access to quality and affordable programs that provide them with temporary relief from their round-the-clock family care duties. Coordinated, non-categorical respite care services must be available at the local level,” Duprey said.