AARP Nevada is pressing for legislation in 2015 that could reduce hospital readmissions by improving communication between hospital staff and family caregivers.
The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act would require hospitals to ask each patient to identify a caregiver. The hospital would teach the caregiver how to do follow-up procedures needed at home—such as managing medications or dressing wounds—and inform the caregiver when the patient is moved or discharged.
In 2009 some 364,000 Nevadans provided unpaid care for family members or friends at a value of about $4 billion, an AARP study showed. Nationwide, 3 out of 4 family caregivers handle medical tasks once performed only in hospitals—but typically receive no training on how to do it.
The 2015 legislative session will begin Feb. 2. AARP Nevada encourages members interested in this issue to get involved. To sign up for action alerts, go to aarp.org/getinvolved.