AARP AARP States Iowa Advocacy

Support for Family Caregivers Tops 2017 State Legislative Priorities

iowa cap dome

AARP Iowa's top priority for the Iowa State General Assembly is passage of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act, a commonsense policy that increases information, education and support for Iowa’s more than 317,000 family caregivers. The legislation recognizes the important role of Iowa’s family caregivers and the estimated 65% of Iowa caregivers’ work that involves medical care.

As Iowa family caregivers take on the huge responsibility of caring for their own loved ones, Iowa should take some common sense steps that help caregivers better prepare to care.

The CARE Act supports family caregivers by assuring that:
*Patients have the option to designate and record a family caregiver is recorded when they are admitted to a hospital;
*A designated family caregiver is notified when their loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home; and,
*The hospital provides an explanation and demonstration of the medical tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care, and transfusions – that the family caregiver will need to perform at home.

The CARE Act is supported by other aging advocates like the Area Agencies on Aging, Older Iowans Legislature, Alzheimer’s Association, and other health care and disability groups like the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, Brain Injury Association, and many others.

In addition to working for passage of the CARE Act, AARP’s 2017 legislative efforts will focus on the three other key policy areas of long-term services and supports, financial resiliency, and election integrity.

Specific concerns include ensuring the state maintains support for the services and resources devoted to Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging LifeLong Links and Family Caregiver programs; supporting efforts to foster financial resiliency through savings and education efforts; and balancing the right to vote with better processes to ensure election integrity.

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