5 States

— More than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians care for older parents, spouses or other loved ones, helping them to live independently in their own homes. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and on April 20, 2017, a new law takes effect that will make life a little bit easier for them. The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act helps family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires hospitals to: Provide …

— Texas lawmakers today finalized a measure that gives important new rights to millions of unpaid family caregivers. A priority for AARP, House Bill 2425 (companion to Senate Bill 1417) would help Texans when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The legislation goes next to the governor’s desk. The measure would ensure hospital patients’ designated family caregivers are offered instruction in providing needed care at home. The measure is vital because unpaid family caregivers often …

— No one plans to have an accident or illness that sends you to the hospital. But Kauai geriatrician and palliative care physician Dr. Laurel Coleman said the time for families to talk about hospital care decisions, caregiving and post-hospital care is before a serious illness or injury happens. Coleman is the featured speaker at a free AARP Hawaii workshop in Kapaa on June 3rd. “Hospitalization is hardly ever anticipated and rarely planned for and yet it is very common as …

— In Texas alone, there are more than 3.4 million unpaid family caregivers, many of whom provide complex medical and nursing tasks for their loved ones, and sometimes without adequate explanation or training. It’s not unusual for their tasks to include managing multiple medications, providing wound care, overseeing special diets, and operating high-tech medical equipment and monitors. Glenn Weaver of Flower Mound has been the caregiver for his wife, Aggie, since 1997, when she had two strokes that left her without …

— With the scheduled end of the 2017 Texas legislative session approaching, AARP continues to fight for passage of several bills that aim to improve nursing home quality, ease the stress of family caregivers, protect older Texans from financial exploitation, and help consumers avoid and respond to surprise medical charges. Here’s a brief overview of some of the issues the AARP Texas team is working on at the state Capitol: Nursing Home Quality and Safety: Texans deserve quality care that ensures …

— More than 154,000 people in Hawaii care for parents, spouses or other loved ones, helping them to live independently in their own homes. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and on July 1, a new law takes effect that will make life a little easier for them. The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act helps family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires Hawaii’s acute care hospitals to: …

— Caring for a loved one? AARP Delaware is distributing a wallet card that spells out new support for family caregivers under a state law that took effect this year. The CARE Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2017, makes sure caregivers are recognized when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. Under the CARE Act, hospitals will: Allow patients to designate a caregiver Notify the caregiver when the patient is going to be discharged …

— Legislation to support North Dakota’s 62,100 family caregivers met with mixed results during the 2017 North Dakota Legislature. House Bill 1038 made its way through both the House and Senate and was signed by Gov. Burgum on April 18. The legislation allows the Department of Human Services to apply for a $200,000 federal grant to provide caregivers with additional respite care. Increased access to respite care across the state is critical. Respite care helps to support family caregivers, many who …

— Lorri’s Story Two and a half years ago my doctors found a tumor wrapped around my spinal cord. It left me paralyzed. I only spent two weeks in a rehab hospital before being released to go home and live my new life. I’m a single 55 ( 52 at the time ) year-old woman. I have no family and my friends were never trained in anyway how to help, or even how to make sure my home was set up …

— If you have a loved one in the hospital, chances are you’re already benefiting from AARP DC’s efforts to pass the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. Now, AARP DC is making it easy to understand what the law means to you. The CARE Act allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver. The hospital records the caregiver’s contact information and notifies that person before the patient is discharged. Hospital staff must also instruct the caregiver on how to …