Caregivers of those with disabilities in 12 states will be getting some added relief soon, thanks to a slew of new federal grants to expand respite care.

The grants totaling $2.25 million will double the size of the Lifespan Respite Care Program, which was established by Congress in 2006 to improve respite services for caregivers of those with special needs. Already in 12 states, the new grants will allow programs to be created in Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin and Utah.

In addition to increasing respite care options, the Lifespan program is designed to coordinate existing services and train new providers.

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“Respite gives these caregivers a much needed break, allowing them to re-charge and then continue successfully in their caregiving roles,” said Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging at the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the grants.