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On Tuesday, April 2, before an audience of Alzheimer’s advocates, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee introduced the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation introduced with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) authorizes $20 million for Fiscal Year 2020 to Lifespan Respite Care program, with scheduled funding increasing by $10 million annually in order to reach $60 million for Fiscal Year 2024. The program, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, allows full-time caregivers to take a temporary break from their responsibilities caring for aging or disabled loved ones.

During the hearing, the committee heard from the perspective of a spouse who serves as her husband’s caregiver. In her testimony, she emphasized the importance of setting a schedule for the day and maintaining a comfortable routine. The senators have previously worked on the matter with the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2017, which called for $15 million per year over the next five years for the program. A bipartisan companion House bill was introduced recently by Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

Chairman Collins along with Ranking Member Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) introduced the Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act (S. 901). The legislation would enable individuals 60 and under diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease to access programs and services provided to individuals with Alzheimer’s.

Argentum is pleased to support these bills and will continue to monitor their progress.

 

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