Millions of family caregivers in Illinois will have many reasons to celebrate during National Caregiving Month in November, as new laws will provide much and urgently needed help for them as they take care of their loved ones.
Thanks to the tireless advocacy of AARP, the Hospital Association and other groups, the Illinois CARE Act will help to significantly increase coordination between caregivers and hospitals. The law requires hospitals to:
- Provide your loved one the opportunity to designate a family caregiver
- Inform you when your loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home
- Make an effort to give you instruction of the aftercare tasks you will need to perform at home
The CARE Act breaks new ground in how caregivers, hospitals and patients interact, and helps make sure you have the tools and resources to continue taking care of your loved one after discharge.
You can also download, print and keep our new CARE Act wallet â€“ it informs you of your rights as a family caregiver!
The CARE Act went into effect January 27 and weâ€™re working very hard to make sure Illinoisâ€™ 1.5 million family caregivers know about it.
But thereâ€™s more!
A new law passed through the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor this year, and will go into effect January 1, 2017.
Illinoisâ€™ ELECT Act addresses a critical issue for family caregivers: balancing the tough job of caring for a sick parent, spouse, sibling, or child with the demands of a caregiverâ€™s employment.
The ELECT Act allows working caregivers to use up to six month of accrued personal sick leave to care for a loved one. ItÂ provides caregivers with the flexibility they urgently need â€“ but it also makes business sense for employers, reducing turnover of quality workers and increasing productivity by improving employee morale.
Family caregivers work extremely hard â€“ their unpaid work is estimated at $18 billion annually in Illinois alone â€“ and they do out of love for their parents, spouses, siblings, or children who need them. What better way to celebrate National Caregiving Month with them than by giving them the support they need through these new laws?
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For more information:
Illinois CARE Act
Illinois ELECT Act
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