The Delaware Lifespan Respite Care Network recently began accepting applications for financial assistance for the new funding year to support family caregivers providing care to a person of any age or disability. Caregivers who need respite services may apply for grants of up to $500 per care recipient, and funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Caregivers are those who devote themselves to the unpaid care of chronically ill or aging individuals and/or family members who have disabilities. Respite, or a temporary relief from caregiving, allows caregivers to take time to care for themselves, which prevents the mental and physical stress associated with being overloaded.
“The responses from caregivers who have received the funding are so heartwarming and touching,” says Nancy Ranalli, Easter Seals director of Community Outreach and the Delaware Lifespan Respite Care Network project manager. “The need for respite is so great! These grants make a huge difference to a caregiver and confirm the need for ongoing funding of this program.”
The DLRCN offers two services - Information & Referral and financial assistance. Its Information & Referral service allows caregivers to search for respite-care providers through the RespiteOnline database. The database allows caregivers of children or adults to search for in-home or out-of-home providers in their area.
In the past 12 months, DLRCN has helped 191 families caring for 202 people. A recent DLRCN recipient wrote: “We have had the honor of receiving funds from DLRCN the last couple of years. My husband and I have had the opportunity to spend time just the two of us and know our son is being well taken care of. We can relax! We appreciate the opportunity so much!”
The Delaware Lifespan Respite Care Network is a statewide system that helps Delaware families find and pay for respite care. Caregivers interested in financial assistance are required to fill out an application. Applications and information can be found at www.delrespite.org or by calling 302-221-2087 to fill out an application over the phone.
Easter Seals offers a range of services, including outpatient rehabilitation therapy, early intervention services for children, day services for adults with physical disabilities and cognitive disabilities, and assistive technology services to increase the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. For more information about Easter Seals, call 800-677-3800 or go to www.de.easterseals.com.