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Respite Conference


March 3, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


Montana Lifespan Respite Summit to be held in Helena


The Montana Lifespan Respite Coalition, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), will host Lifespan Respite Summit at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena on March 9, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Riding the Respite Wave: Sustaining the Momentum is the theme of this year’s Summit. 

The Summit goal is to address the sustainability needs of respite for Montana caregivers. The Lifespan Respite Program can reach caregivers caring for loved ones regardless of age, disability, chronic illness or individuals at risk for abuse or neglect. 

The keynote speaker is Glen Fewkes, Senior Legislative Representative, Government Affairs Department of the AARP National Office. Fewkes’s presentation will begin following the 8:30 a.m. opening remarks and will focus on the growing importance of family caregiving across the country, why respite care is so crucial and how to best advocate for caregivers in Montana.

The day long Summit will include a luncheon, caregiver panel and an opportunity to learn and network from caregivers and professionals in the field.  

Montana caregivers provide 110 million hours of care at an estimated value of over $1.4 billion annually, as identified in the AARP “Valuing the Invaluable:  2015 Update”.

“The need for respite for family caregivers continues to grow with the aging of the baby boomer generation and increased desire for home and community based services,” said Kelly Williams of the DPHHS Senior and Long Term Care Division. “At the same time, quality respite options are in short supply for all family caregivers.”

The Montana Respite Voucher program, launched in July of 2015, provides needed financial support for unpaid family caregivers to get a short break from their caregiving responsibilities.  “The response has been overwhelming and reinforces the high need for this program,” Williams added. The current federal Lifespan Respite Grant provides funding through August of 2017. 

The registration fee is $10 for the Summit. To register for the Summit go to www.respite.mt.gov.  For more information, contact Jackie Stoeckel, Aging Services at jstoeckel@mt.gov or 406-444-6061. Registration will be available at the door as well.