Great news for our state’s more than 345,000 caregivers and the people for whom they provide care. The Kansas Legislature has passed and Governor Brownback has signed the Kansas Lay Caregivers Act, otherwise known as the Caregiver, Advise, Record and Enable or CARE Act. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, will support caregivers when the person they are caring for is hospitalized and then returns home and is in need of care.
AARP volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly to get the legislation passed so that when patients are admitted to a Kansas hospital, they have a right to designate a caregiver. The designated caregiver is then informed before the patient is discharged or transferred to another facility and is given instructions on how to care for the patient at home.
“The CARE Act will help improve post-discharge health outcomes, reduce costly hospital readmissions, and enable older Kansans to stay in their homes longer,” said AARP Kansas Director Maren Turner. “And, it will support our state’s caregivers by making sure they know what to do to help their loved one get well after a hospital stay.”
Kansas caregivers have big responsibilities. In a December 2016 survey conducted by AARP, 66 percent of Kansas caregivers reported helping their loved ones with complicated medical tasks, wound care, infusion therapy and complex medication management. This is in addition to the everyday tasks they perform for their loved ones like assisting them with bathing and dressing, meals and transportation. Of those surveyed, 95 percent indicated their support for requiring hospitals to instruct caregivers prior to their loved one being discharged.
With passage of the CARE Act, Kansas becomes the 37 th state to support our state’s caregivers who provide $3.8 billion dollars in unpaid care each year. As of this writing, 38 states have passed a version of the CARE Act.
Between now and the time the CARE Act goes into effect in 2018, AARP will be working to educate Kansans about the provisions of the new law. For more information, contact us at 866-448-3619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.