Senator Janet Nguyen Introduces Bill to Support Family Caregivers

Thursday, January 26, 2017

In a continued effort to assist unpaid family caregivers, Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) is proud to announce the introduction of Senate Bill 177 (SB 177). This bill would allocate an additional $3.3 million to statewide Caregiver Resource Centers (CRC) to reinstate much needed respite care services for unpaid family members who provide any type of physical and/or emotional care for an ill or disabled loved one at home. State CRCs provide a wide range of support and resources to families and other unpaid caregivers of adults, including those affected by chronic health conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

“Many California families care for disabled loved ones at home; a noble act that often leaves them with limited time to carry out personal activities,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “SB 177 would help these families by restoring respite care services at 11 CRC’s throughout the state, giving these critical, unpaid caregivers a temporary rest while ensuring that the person who is being cared for receives assistance in a safe environment.”

Family caregivers stand as an essential long-term care workforce in the state; providing 80% of support services that may otherwise be provided in a skilled nursing facility or hospital. According to data from the AARP, in California, there are approximately 4.5 million family caregivers who provide care to loved ones who have limitations carrying out daily activities.

“The stress of family caregiving is enormous. SB 177 will allow the CRCs the opportunity to provide desperately needed respite for caregivers statewide who, with the time this service provides, will be able to take mental and physical care of themselves,” said Jack Light, LCSW, Executive Director of the Family Caregiver Resource Center, St. Jude Brain Injury Network.

If passed SB 177 would restore $275,000 to each of the 11 CRC’s to fund respite services at a functioning level. Senator Nguyen previously introduced a similar version of this bill during the 2015-16 session. 

For information on California’s Caregiver Resource Centers, please visit http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/MH/Pages/AdultsCaregiverResourceCenters.aspx.