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648,000 Kentucky caregivers need your help: please sign our petition

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AARP Kentucky is working to supports the state’s family caregivers – an unpaid silent army 648,000 strong who help make it possible for older Kentuckians to live independently at home, where they want to be.

We need your help to do more for these family caregivers. Download a copy of the petition, here: 2016 KY Family Caregiving Support

In Kentucky alone, 648,000 Kentuckians are caregivers to other adults, providing care valued at a staggering $7 billion annually.

Many people incorrectly assume that nursing homes provide the majority of long term care in this country.  When, in fact, family members serve as the primary caretakers for people of all ages with disabilities, performing vital tasks like giving baths, helping others get dressed, dispensing medicine and providing transportation to doctor’s appointments.

If you’re not a caregiver now, you were one in the past, or will likely be one in the future.

Family caregivers in Kentucky make it possible for their loved ones to live independently at home. By helping with basic tasks of daily living, their mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters can stay at home where they want to be rather than move to a more costly nursing home.

AARP Kentucky hears stories from family caregivers all the time. They work hard to provide care for their family member, all the while trying to balance their work and family demands.

While these family caregivers wouldn’t have it any other way, they need some support. Caregivers are the first line of defense against older Americans being forced from their homes and into nursing homes or back into the hospital—and it’s not easy.

The Family Caregivers Act would support and equip family caregivers with the basic information and training they need when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.

“Family caregivers work hard to help their parents, spouses and other loved ones live at home, while trying to keep up with their own jobs and make ends meet,” says AARP Kentucky State President Jim Kimbrough. “The least we can do is provide these unsung heroes with the basic information and training they need to carry out this noble mission.”

AARP has championed the introduction of the CARE Act in 30 states. The legislation has been passed by legislatures in 12 states and has been enacted into law in 10 states.

The Kentucky Family Caregivers Act will feature three important provisions:

  • The name of the family caregiver is recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital;
  • The family caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home; and,
  • The facility must provide an explanation and live instruction of the medical tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care, and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home.

Research shows that if caregivers are well prepared when patients are discharged from the hospital, the patient will be healthier and less likely to be readmitted to the hospital.

A report from AARP indicates there will be growing pressure on caregivers in the future. The pool of family and friends to care for Baby Boomers as they age into their 80s will be less than half as deep as it is today in Kentucky and the U.S.

Help AARP Kentucky support family caregivers. Download a copy of the petition, here: 2016 KY Family Caregiving Support

 

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