§ 40-8.11-1. Findings.
(a) Family members, partners and close friends provide the vast majority of long-term services and supports.
(b) An estimated one hundred and forty-eight thousand (148,000) persons in Rhode Island are providing care at any one time to persons living in the community. The estimated value of their unpaid contributions in 2009 was one billion eight hundred eighty million dollars ($1,880,000,000).
(c) Family or other caregivers who provide the majority of care in the home are frequently under substantial physical, psychological, and financial stress. The stress, if unrelieved by support for the caregiver, may lead to premature or unnecessary nursing home and institutional placement and health and financial burdens for the caregiver.
(d) Respite care and other community-based supportive services for the family caregiver can relive some of the stresses faced by caregivers, maintain and strengthen the family structure, postpone or prevent institutionalization and lead to better outcomes for both the caregiver and care recipient.
(e) The percent of Rhode Islanders age sixty-five (65) years of age and older is projected to grow from fourteen percent (14%) of the state population in 2010 to twenty-one percent (21%) by 2030. As persons age, they have greater dependency needs and an increased need for long-term care services and support. Younger people with disabilities also require continued supportive long-term care services as they age.
(f) As informal caregivers and families are a vital part of the long-term care services and support system, it is an important public purpose to recognize and respect their contributions and to assess and support their needs.
(P.L. 2013, ch. 457, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 469, § 2.)