To recognize their work to support family caregivers in Indiana, AARP has named State Senators Ed Charbonneau, Patricia Miller, Vaneta Becker and Mark Stoops, State Representatives Dennis Zent, Ed Clere, Karlee Macer and Charlie Brown and Governor Mike Pence as 2015 “Capitol Caregivers.” These elected officials – a bipartisan group of state and governors from across the country - have advanced policies to help family caregivers who are making it possible for their older loved ones to live independently at home—where they want to be.
“AARP thanks all of these state elected officials for their support of the nearly 840,000 unpaid family caregivers in Indiana,” said Sarah Waddle, interim state director of AARP Indiana. “They all lent their time and energy to making the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act, or CARE Act, a reality.”
The CARE Act, House Bill 1265, will improve coordination and communication between the state’s family caregivers, their loved ones and hospitals. The law, which took effect on January 1, 2016, takes some commonsense steps to better support Hoosier family caregivers. Those include: providing the option to record the name of a family caregiver when a loved one is admitted into a hospital; notifying the family caregiver if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home if the patient is not competent to do so; and, providing an explanation and instruction of the medical tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home when the hospital deems it necessary.
As of 2013, roughly 837,000 Hoosiers provide unpaid care for their older loved ones as family caregivers—valued at about $9.5 billion annually. They help with everything from bathing and dressing, to meal preparation and managing finances, and even complex medical duties.
“Family caregiving is one of these rare issues that crosses geographic and political lines,” Waddle said. “This isn’t a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a family issue. And, these folks recognize that.”
The recipients were who were able to attend an event in their honor on January 6, 2016, were presented with their awards. A picture of Sen. Becker, Tyler Ann McGuffee from Governor Pence’s office, Rep. Zent, Rep. Clere, Rep. Macer, Sen. Miller and Sen. Stoops with their awards is attached (from left to right).
To learn more about the CARE Act and request a free, informational card, visit action.aarp.org/INCARECard.