More than 800,000 Washingtonians care for older parents, spouses or loved ones, helping them to live independently in their own homes. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and on June 9, a new law took effect that will make life a little bit easier for them.

The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act, or Senate Bill 6327, helps lay family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires hospitals to:

  • Provide your loved one the opportunity to designate a lay family caregiver
  • Inform you when your loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home
  • Provide instruction or training on the aftercare tasks you will need to perform at home

AARP Washington supported the CARE Act because caregiving may be one of the most important roles you will ever take on in your life.

You may have become a caregiver suddenly or perhaps your role has evolved over time. No matter where you are in the continuum of caregiving—starting to plan, helping to coordinate a big move, or taking care of a family member in your home—having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier.CARE Act

Below is a partial list of organizations which may be of assistance:

AARP Caregiver Resource Center – Live operator assistance with state-by-state information.
Call: 877-333-5885

Community Living Connections – Variety of tools and links to Washington State services aging and disabled populations including Adult Day Centers, caregiver support groups, residential services etc.
Online: www.washingtoncommunitylivingconnections.org

Washington State Aging and Long-term Support Administration (ALTSA) – County by county listing of local resources/services including training on caregiving and respite care.
Call: 360-725-2300
Online: www.dshs.wa.gov/ALTSA/resources

Area Agency on Aging – 13 local organizations across the state with knowledge of local caregiving resources.
Email: info@agingwashington.org
Call: 360-485-9761
Online: http://www.agingwashington.org/

Hiring an Aide – Referral Registry – Registry to get a list of prescreened individual providers in their area.
Online https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/home-and-community-services/services-help-adult-remain-home
Call: 800-970-5456

Alzheimer’s Association of Washington State – Hosts seminars and support groups in addition to a wealth of information.
Call: 206-363-5500
Online: http://www.alz.org/alzwa/

Washington Health Care Association – “Consumer” section has information on selecting a facility.
Call: 800-562-6170
Online: http://www.whca.org/facility-finder/