Throughout Indiana nearly 840,000 Hoosiers care for an older parent, spouse or other loved one, helping them to live safely and independently at home. These family caregivers take on huge responsibilities that can be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting. Many also juggle full- or part-time jobs.
During the 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly, three elected officials in Indiana went above and beyond to provide a little bit of help for family caregivers by championing HEA 1263, telemedicine.
To recognize their important leadership to pass telemedicine, AARP has named State Senator Michael Crider and State Representatives Cindy Kirchhofer and Sean Eberhart as part of the third class of “Capitol Caregivers.” This bipartisan group of elected officials from more than 23 states, including Indiana, advanced policies to bring more support to our greatest support system – family caregivers.
HEA 1263, Health Information; Telemedicine, will allow physicians, physician assistants, advance practice nurses and optometrists with prescriptive authority to prescribe certain prescriptions during remote patient visits. Prior to this law’s passage, prescribing drugs through telemedicine first required a patient to visit a provider in person.
“AARP Indiana thanks these leaders for championing the telemedicine legislation last year,” said Sarah Waddle, AARP Indiana state director. “Telemedicine can play a meaningful role in helping not only the patient, but also the family caregiver who is providing the bulk of that patient’s care.”
AARP Indiana presented “Capitol Caregiver” certificates to the recipients at an AARP volunteer event.
In Indiana family caregivers provide unpaid care valued at about $9.4 billion annually.
They help their loved ones with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, managing finances, transportation, grocery shopping, and much much more.
Today, family caregivers also perform medical tasks, once only done by doctors and nurses, like wound care, injections and complex medication management.
Telemedicine is just a first step to making the big responsibilities family caregivers face a little bit easier. AARP will continue to fight for Indiana’s family caregivers and their loved ones.
If you are a family caregiver, you’re not alone.
- For tools and resources, go to aarp.org/caregiving.
- To share your story and connect with others, go to aarp.org/iheartcaregivers.
- To find out how AARP is fighting for you, check out aarp.org/SupportCaregivers.