P. O. Box 493; Columbia, S.C. 29202 Phone: (803) 935-5027 Toll free: 1 (866) 345-6786 Fax: (803) 935-5229 Email: [email protected] Website: www.screspitecoalition.org YOUR VISIT, LETTER, E-MAIL OR CALL MAKES A DIFFERENCE! “If we hear from 5-6 people on an issue, which really gets our attention.” - SC State Senator Joel Lourie Be respectful, tell your own story and BRIEFLY make your points about specific issues, legislation or budget items YOU care about. TIP: Something in writing is probably best unless you know your legislator and/or can express yourself very clearly. Playing phone tag can be frustrating. Something in writing is more clear, well thought out, and they can keep it and take time to understand. REMEMBER, YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND YOUR LEGISLATORS BY: • Visiting www.scstatehouse.gov 1) click the “Find Your Legislators” link. 2) Enter your address and zip code 3) State and Federal (in Washington, D.C. ) Legislators, complete with their contact information, will be listed for you. 4) Click on their name to get to their own page. 5) The “How Do I ?” link on the left side of the page has helpful information too. • If you do not have computer access, call your county Voter Registration Office. Can’t find it? For the number of your county’s office, call the S.C. Election Commission at 803. 734-2060. Working to create a lifespan respite system for all ages. Lifespan Respite 2015 – FACT SHEET… . In recent years, South Carolina Legislators have led the way in acknowledging the needs of caregivers of our state’s growing elderly population. Elected officials at the Statehouse understand that respite is an essential service that keeps families together by protecting the physical and mental health of the caregiver. The S.C. Respite Coalition and its members commend our lawmakers for their hard work and urge that the $2 million dedicated to elderly respite be approved as a recurring line item in the S.C. aging budget. A substantial and continually growing number of caregivers are families caring for children with special needs and mid-life adults with disabilities. These families carry the same heavy responsibilities of caregiving and, most often, the responsibility lasts a lifetime. Unfortunately, many of these families are not eligible for services from any state agencies. Respite is regular, temporary breaks As a partner with the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging in the from care giving for a person of any federally funded Lifespan Respite grants, the South Carolina age, who has a disability, special Respite Coalition (SCRC) has provided vouchers up to $500 to need or chronic illness. eligible families not currently served by any state funded program. Our inclusion of family caregivers of children and young adults with special health needs, particularly, has allowed us to serve a population that rarely receives aid. Since it began three years ago, the SCRC Voucher Program has served over 400 families who benefitted from almost 20,000 hours of respite at an average cost of $9.00 per hour. Certainly, some S.C. families can pay for respite care. But, with federal grant funding set to run out by the end of 2015, our concern is for lower and middle income families for whom there is no publically funded respite assistance in the state. The need for respite is REAL. It is consistently the most identified need of families whose children have special health needs, indeed of most family caregivers of all ages. As little as 4 hours of respite per week has been shown to make a significant difference in a caregiver’s life. At 10-12 dollars per hour, this can be as little as $2,080 to $2,500 a year. Respite care is cost effective. Without respite, caregivers burn out and are more likely to suffer poor health consequences themselves, which can result in the institutionalization of the care recipient. A year of institutional care in S.C. costs approximately $64,240. CAREGIVERS OF PEOPLE 18-65: In 2009, there were 574,765 people 18-65 years old in S.C. who had disabilities. This includes people with mental health disorders. As of March 1, 2014, S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) served 20,139 people aged 18-65. That means over 540,000 South Carolinians with disabilities between the ages of 18-65 did not qualify for DDSN or other respite services for caregivers. S.C. Department of Mental Health serves approximately 100,000 adults annually. Almost no respite is provided to their family caregivers. CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: In 2010, S.C. identified 177,157 (16.5%) children under 18 who were diagnosed with special health care needs. S.C. DDSN served 12,648 people under 18 as of March 2014. Most of the additional 164,000 children with special needs in S.C. do not qualify for services through DDSN or other respite services for caregivers. S.C. Department of Mental Health serves about 30,000 children and adolescents annually (only 17% of the 177,157 children with special needs). South Carolina Respite Coalition P.O. Box 493, Columbia, S.C. 29202 Website: www.screspitecoalition.org E -mail: [email protected] Local Phone: (803) 935-5027 Phone Toll Free: (866) 345-6786 Fax: (803) 935-5229 FAMILY CAREGIVING IS AN ACT OF LOVE – BUT WE STILL NEED RESPITE ONCE IN A WHILE! Dear ________________________________, Governor Haley has declared February 9-14, 2015 Respite Awareness Week in South Carolina! Respite is vital to families caring full time for loved ones with special health care needs! In recent years, you and your colleagues have led the way in responding to the needs of family caregivers for our state’s growing elderly population. Please make the $2 million for elders respite in the aging budget a recurring line item each year. You recognize that respite is an essential service that keeps families together by protecting the physical and mental health of the caregiver, and saves the state money too by reducing the need for institutionalization. We commend you and also respectfully submit that elderly caregivers, and caregivers of the elderly, are not the only ones who need a break; families caring for children and midlife adults with special needs or disabilities carry the same responsibilities as elders, and in these situations the commitment often lasts their entire lifetime. The South Carolina Respite Coalition (SCRC) has given out federal funds in family vouchers. Current funds are from federal lifespan grants through the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging, but SCRC has no ongoing funding to keep giving vouchers when grant money runs out this year. Many families have nowhere else to turn for respite assistance. • Adults with disabilities: In 2009, according the Center for Disease Control, there were 574,765 people 18-65 years old in SC who had disabilities. As of March 1, 2014, SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs was serving 20,139 people aged 18-65. That means over 540,000 South Carolinians with disabilities between the ages of 18-65 did not qualify for DDSN or other respite. The Department of Mental Health provides little or no respite. • Children and Adolescents: In 2010, 177,157 (16.5%) children under 18 were identified in SC with diagnosed special health care needs. SC DDSN was serving 12,648 people under 18 as of 3/1/2014. Most of the additional 164,000 children with special needs in SC do not qualify for services through DDSN, Mental Health or other respite services for family caregivers. In the future, please consider respite funding for families who are caring for children and adults with special needs! Why I care about this… __________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ more on the back Signature: ________________________________ Print Name: ____________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________ Email: _____________________________________ Respite = relief: a break from caregiving that allows one to return to caring for a loved one refreshed. It is the need most frequently identified by family caregivers of all ages. At $10-18/hour respite is cost effective. As little as 4 hours a week has been shown to make a significant difference in a family caregiver’s life. It is $2,080-$3,745 a year compared to $64,200 for nursing home care. P. O. Box 493 Columbia, S.C. 29202 Phone: (803) 935-5027 Toll free: 1 (866) 345-6786 Fax: (803) 935-5229 Email: [email protected] Website: www.screspitecoalition.org EVALUATION THANK YOU FOR BEING A RESPITE ADVOCATE! Respite Awareness Week: February 9-14, 2015. Please return this by Feb. 28, 2015. □ e-mail □ phone □ letter □ in person If you phoned, did you actually speak to □ your legislator? □ a legislative aide? I contacted my legislator by: With which legislators or their aides were you able to make contact during Respite Awareness Week? Please describe any feedback you received, positive or negative, including their questions on respite. Do you feel one of both or your legislators could be a potential leader in terms of respite support for children and adults with special needs in the state legislature? □ NO □ YES If yes, which one(s). After reading the document prepared by the SC Respite Coalition, did you feel well prepared to correspond with your legislators? □ YES □ NO □ SOMEWHAT Are you willing to continue serving as a respite advocate and may we call on you to contact legislators when needed? □ YES □ NO Please list your name, address, preferred contact number and email address if you have one for future correspondence and return to SCRC via mail, email or fax: Thank you for participating in Respite Awareness Week 2015! Working to create a lifespan respite system for all ages.
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