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PNS Daily Newscast - December 11, 2017 


Families across the nation are still waiting for children's health insurance funding; also on our nationwide rundown, Aztec High School in New Mexico remains closed following a deadly shooting; plus a look at how politics figure into most companies' marketing strategies.

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Respite Grant: Giving ND Caregivers a Break

Family caregivers provide more than 58 million hours of service a year in North Dakota. (Brian Walker/Flickr)
Family caregivers provide more than 58 million hours of service a year in North Dakota. (Brian Walker/Flickr)
November 27, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A grant to help family caregivers get some rest is on its way to North Dakota. The state has received the Lifespan Respite Care Grant, a $200,000 award to help the state come up with solutions for giving North Dakota's more than 62,000 family caregivers a break.

The grant will help people such as Larry Hinderer, who began taking care of his wife full-time 15 years ago after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and ended up in a wheelchair. Hinderer lives about 25 miles from Carson - a rural part of the state where it can be hard to find assistance.

"We can't find anyone to really come in and stay with my wife, you know, so that I would have time off,” Hinderer said. "So for me, it's a full-time caregiver."

With the help of AARP, the Department of Human Services received approval from the 2017 Legislature to apply for the grant earlier this year.

Nancy Nikolas-Maier, director of the Aging Services Division of the Department of Human Services, said her agency will focus in part on building a workforce that can give a break to caregivers such as Hinderer in rural parts of the state. She added that respite has health benefits for caregivers and the people they care for.

"It has been shown that people who use respite early and often in their caregiving career really are able to care for that person longer and have better outcomes,” Nikolas-Maier said. "They have less stress, it's better for their health, all those kinds of things."

Hinderer echoed Nikolas-Maier on the health benefits of respite. He's working with AARP to coordinate time off, but said this grant is important regardless, because it will help out so many North Dakotans.

"We're trying to see, even if I don't get the help, that this will help someone else,” Hinderer said; “you know,because there's a lot of people that are aging now that are going to need help and this would really help them out too."

Family caregivers provide more than 58 million hours of service a year in North Dakota, according to the AARP Policy Institute.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND