There’s a group of unsung heroes that fan out every day across Kansas. In cities big and small, rural and urban, they do things like give baths and help others get dressed. They dispense medicine and provide transportation to doctor’s appointments. They are family caregivers.
More than 600,000 family caregivers in the Kansas make it possible for their loved ones to live independently at home. By helping with basic tasks of daily living, their mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers, sisters and friends can stay at home where they want to be, rather than move to a more costly nursing home.
Chances are: you know, have been, or are a family caregiver. Or, you will be one in the future.
Caregivers work hard to help their loved one live at home, while trying to keep up with their own jobs and make ends meet. They are unselfish, underappreciated and, sadly, often undertrained.
More and more, family caregivers are being asked to perform medical or nursing tasks at home after a loved one is discharged from the hospital. Often, they receive little or no training on how to do these necessary tasks and may not even be told when their loved one is about to be sent home.
The burden of performing nursing tasks without proper training is tremendous. It not only puts extra stress on the caregiver, it can result in the patient being readmitted to the hospital.
AARP believes there is a simple way for caregivers to continue to support their loved ones at home and in the community, and avoid or reduce costly hospital readmissions. The CARE Act helps improve health outcomes, keeps folks at home and reduces costly readmissions. The CARE Act, which will be introduced into the 2015 Kansas Legislature, will allow patients to designate a caregiver at the time of their hospital admission and require hospitals to provide the caregiver with training on the patient’s post-discharge care needs.
We hope you will join us in support of this legislation. Please contact your legislator and ask him or her to vote in favor of the CARE Act.