Caregiving can be stressful, exhausting and daunting. A new state law aims to ease the stress by providing caregivers with training and support when a loved one comes home from a hospital stay.
The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, which will take effect Jan. 1, will allow every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver, whose contact information will be included in the patient’s medical record. The hospital must make reasonable efforts to keep the caregiver informed about the patient’s release and to show the caregiver how to perform follow-up medical tasks the patient will need at home. At least 33 states have passed similar legislation.
Delaware is home to about 123,000 family caregivers. An AARP study found that almost half of caregivers nationwide (46 percent) perform medical tasks for multiple conditions, and 78 percent manage medications, including intravenous drugs and injections.