Nurse holding hands with elderly patient.

The Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act is headed to the president’s desk following unanimous passage by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Endorsed by 100 caregiver and respite-related organizations, including LeadingAge and the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the bipartisan bill, if it becomes law, would authorize $10 million annually for the Lifespan Respite Care program from fiscal year 2020 through fiscal year 2024.

Authored by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), along with Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the legislators won praise from Jill Kagan, chair of the National Respite Coalition, who said her organization “applauds” them for their efforts.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the social isolation and economic insecurity felt by family caregivers and their loved ones, with devastating effects on their health and wellness. Respite care may be their only lifeline,” Kagan said.