OLYMPIA – Family members caring for an aging loved one might soon see a break and have greater access to respite care under legislation passed by the House. The bill (HB 2435), is sponsored by Rep. Christine Kilduff, D-University Place, and is similar to a previous law passed by Kilduff expanding respite care training for families caring for loved ones with developmental disabilities.

Often, family members act as unpaid caregivers for loved ones in need. It can be a full-time job and especially difficult when a patient has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a traumatic brain injury. Family members need a break, but finding qualified respite care providers is difficult. There is a shortage of respite workers and as the “age wave” continues, the demand for this care will increase. At the same time, respite care workers must have sufficient training to ensure patients have the quality of care they need. Kilduff’s bill expands the respite provider workforce and preserves healthcare standards for patients.

“I’ve seen firsthand the round-the-clock efforts of my own family members caring for a loved one, and it’s clear we need more respite care workers to give families the break they need. Caring for an aging or ailing parent or other family member is a labor of love, but it’s not easy. Passing this bill into law will reduce the tremendous stress put on families while still ensuring patients are getting quality care,” said Kilduff.

The House approved HB 2435 unanimously and it is currently in the Senate Rules Committee.

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