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Caregiver communication: The difference between a successful transition home and a return trip to the hospital

communicating with caregivers

If you've ever been a caregiver, you know that good communication from health professionals is critical when it comes to your ability to manage medications and perform other care tasks - especially when your family member is coming home from the hospital.

That's why AARP Nevada is pressing for legislation in 2015 that aims to cut down on re-admissions and help caregivers be better prepared to take care of loved ones at home. Called the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, the bill would require hospitals to enter a family caregiver's name in the medical record at the time a patient is admitted, notify the caregiver when the patient is due to be released, and ensure that the caregiver is instructed in any follow-up care needed at home—such as dressing wounds or managing prescriptions.

These common sense steps can make the difference between a successful transition home and a return trip to the hospital, or worse.

Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans are currently providing unpaid care for family members or friends - including a third of the Silver State's Baby Boomers.  Nationwide, three out of four family caregivers handle medical tasks once performed only in hospitals—but typically receive no training on how to do it.

As a caregiver, have you been in a situation where better communication could have helped your loved one make a smoother transition from hospital to home?  Or do you have a success story where good after-care instruction has made a difference in your ability to take care of a family member?  You can help fellow caregivers by sharing your story. AARP's iHeartCaregivers website ( celebrates and connects caregivers by bringing together personal stories, experiences and resources. Submit your Nevada caregiving story today!






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