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ACL Awards $5M to Increase Availability of Dementia-Specific Respite Care

November 16, 2023

ACL is pleased to announce the award of a new grant designed to increase the availability of innovative models of dementia-specific respite care in communities across the nation. The Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders Association, Inc. (Alzheimer’s Association) has received a five-year cooperative agreement award for over $4.9 million per year for Supporting State and Community Innovations in Dementia-Specific Respite Programs and Services. The grant also has a match component, which brings the total funding to over $6.5 million per year.

During the period of performance, which is November 1, 2023, to October 31, 2028, the grantee will dedicate no less than 80% of the total award funding to a sub-grant program for home and community-based service (HCBS) providers. In addition to the community sub-grant program, the Alzheimer’s Association will deliver training and technical assistance to advance the national capacity to provide such services to people living with dementia (regardless of age) and their caregivers. A key outcome of this respite innovations program will be a catalog of programs and resources designed to improve quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers through respite.

The National Institute on Aging defines respite as the provision of short-term relief for primary caregivers, coming in many forms and being delivered in a range of venues, including but not limited to homes, churches, community centers, adult day centers, or health care facilities. It can be arranged for just an afternoon or for several days or weeks and can be provided by volunteers, paid staff, or a combination of both. As one of the cornerstones of family caregiver supports, respite benefits both caregivers and people living with dementia when providers have specialized training to understand dementia and the ways in which they can design and deliver services that preserve the dignity of participants through meaningful activities. According to the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers, gaps in the availability of and access to respite can be significant, adding to the stress and burden of unpaid caregivers. Respite care is often costly, and with limited availability in many communities, caregivers are frequently left with responsibility for the bulk of the expenses. This grant and the sub-grants it will generate will result in the development and piloting of cost-efficient, effective, strengths-based, person-centered, innovative models of dementia-specific respite care.


According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias (ADRD), with 11 million unpaid caregivers providing an estimated 18 billion hours of care. As the population of older adults increases, it is anticipated that by 2050, the number of people living with ADRD will nearly triple. ACL’s Innovations in Respite program is dedicated to addressing this challenge by making sub-grants available to HCBS providers to pilot and evaluate much-needed respite models dedicated to meeting the needs of the people living with dementia and caregivers.

Resources and the technical assistance materials developed and delivered as a result of this grant award will be made available through the ACL-funded National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center for the benefit of the broader stakeholder community.

To learn more, contact

Last modified on 11/16/2023

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