Family caregivers, who often provide 24/7 care to children and adults with disabilities or chronic conditions, are the backbone of the US long-term services and supports system. However, without adequate support for themselves, family caregivers are at high risk for stress-related illnesses and depression and family well-being may be undermined by marital discord and strained family relationships. Respite care helps reduce the stress that can lead to serious physical and emotional strain on family caregivers, improve overall family well-being, help prevent abuse or neglect, and help avoid or delay more costly emergency room use and hospitalization as well as foster care, nursing home or other facility-based placements. Yet, close to 90% of the nation's 65 million family caregivers are not receiving respite services of any kind.
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