The Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition was formed in September 2010, with support from a Lifespan Respite grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA, nka Administration for Community Living, or ACL), in order to improve quality of life for the estimated 858,000 family caregivers in Massachusetts. The mission of the Coalition is to promote and support access to quality respite care options that enhance the lives of individuals and families with special needs throughout the lifespan.
The Coalition is supported by a broad range of experts and advocates, including family caregivers, leadership from state health and human service agencies, and providers of home health and personal care. Its 200 members include (but are not limited to) representatives from the Department of Developmental Services, Elder Affairs, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society/Greater New England Chapter (MS Society), Children’s Hospital Boston, the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, nonprofit elder care and disability agencies, and the Massachusetts Aging and Disability Resource Consortia (ADRCs).
Throughout Massachusetts, every individual, caregiver, or family needing respite services will have access to a seamless, statewide system that provides quality, individualized respite services that meet their needs.
Every family is entitled to a highly qualified, trustworthy respite provider.
Every respite provider should aspire to respect and embrace cultural diversity.
Respite services should support families in building strength and maintaining unity
Initial 2010 Lifespan Respite Grant: Objectives, Outcomes, Products
In the fall of 2010, Massachusetts was awarded a three-year start-up grant from the Administration on Aging. The objectives of the grant were to:
- Develop a statewide respite coalition consisting of family caregivers, respite providers, and members of the aging, disability and health services network.
- Improve statewide dissemination and coordination of respite care by developing a comprehensive, accessible directory of services.
- Enhance and expand the availability of lifespan respite services in Massachusetts by improving training and recruitment of providers, and developing a strategic plan and list of policy recommendations.
- A more collaborative network of respite service providers.
- An easily accessible, highly visible on-line and print-based guide to respite services.
- A better trained corps of respite workers and volunteers.
- Higher availability of respite services.
- Three-year plan for the development of a Lifespan Respite Services Program.
- Written assessment of respite services in Massachusetts.
- Web- and print-based directory of respite services in Massachusetts.
- Set of quality and safety guidelines for respite providers.
- Standardized training curriculum for respite providers (paid and unpaid).
- List of policy recommendations for presentation to state agencies and policy makers.
Since the original 3 year grant (awarded in 2010), Massachusetts has received an Expansion Grant in 2012, A Sustainability and Integration Grant in 2013, a 3 year Long Term Sustainability Grant in 2014, and an Expansion Grant in 2016.