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The Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition held a summit on respite care issues Tuesday at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough.

Billed as “a working meeting to strengthen state and community partnerships to sustain lifespan respite activities in Massachusetts,” the day-long conference brought together professionals from throughout the state for presentations and workshops. The summit was designed to help identify ways to integrate lifespan respite into existing health care, long-term services and support, and family support systems across all populations in Massachusetts; to develop startegies to maximize use of existing respite resources and leverage new respite funds; and to generate innovative strategies for future collaborations and growth.

Among the speakers were Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner, Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Elin Howe, Advocates Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning Jeff Keilson and Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition Project Director Amy Nazaire.

Keilson discussed the proposed changes in the MassHealth system, while Nazaire gave an overview of the MLRC, the need for respite in Massachusetts and what other states are doing. Breakout sessions covered the gaps, strengths and opportunities for respite in Massachusetts and strategies and solutions for improving access to respite care in the state.

BayPath Elder Services Caregiver Specialist Alicia Rego and Caregiving MetroWest Program Manager Douglas Flynn were on hand to participate in the program.

Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner (right) speaks at Tuesday’s Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Summit at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough while Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition co-founder Mike Oliver (left) and MLRC Project Director Amy Nazaire look on.

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