Wisconsin Public Radio: New Dollars For Respite Care To Strengthen Connections Among Providers, Caregivers

Wisconsin Public Radio: New Dollars For Respite Care To Strengthen Connections Among Providers, Caregivers

A state budget increase of about 36 percent for respite care will go toward expanding an existing online registry of providers and caregivers, and expanding training to meet a workforce need, a respite care advocate said.

In Gov. Tony Evers’ recent budget, $350,000 per year is earmarked for respite care — an increase of $125,000 compared to previous budgets that set aside $225,000 for the service, said Lisa Schneider, executive director of Respite Care Association of Wisconsin in Appleton. This is the first time an increase has been awarded in 20 years.

Respite isn’t a word many people are familiar with, she added. But once they understand that it refers to a break from providing for loved ones, “it’s an incredible opening,” Schneider said.

Respite care provides a short break for caregivers — whether that’s to go shopping, give them some free leisure time or allow them to sleep through a full night. Such breaks are difficult for caregivers who are assisting their loved ones 24/7. Home health agencies, camps, hospitals and others offer these types of services that are paid for through the Medicaid system.

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