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The CARE Act -- Legislative Update

Governor and Judy
AARP Volunteer Judy Bellome discuss the CARE Act with Governor Sam Brownback



AARP Kansas continues to urge Kansas legislators to pass the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act to support the more than 605,000 caregivers in our state who provide care to their loved ones, enabling them to continue living at home. AARP’s Capital City Task Force (CCTF) members, led by volunteer Judy Bellome and AARP Kansas Advocacy Director Ernie Kutzley, have been spending hours at the Kansas Statehouse talking to legislators, administration officials and representatives of other organizations, including the Kansas Hospital Association, in efforts to garner support for the legislation.

CCTF members are urging lawmakers to support the CARE Act as written in House Bill 2058 and Senate Bill 265.  The bills are still alive but are waiting to get the through the committee process and on to the floor for a vote.

“The Kansas Hospital Association is the primary opponent of the CARE Act,” said Kutzley. “They have stated that they do not want the requirements of the CARE Act in state law. This is unfortunate because, while some Kansas hospitals support caregivers appropriately, not all do, and we believe passage of the CARE Act is necessary to ensure that all patients and their caregivers benefit from good communication and support.”

A survey conducted by AARP in November 2014 reveals that 95 percent of Kansans support requiring hospitals and health care facilities to explain and demonstrate medical and nursing tasks that family caregivers will need to perform after the patient is discharged. This is a key element of the CARE Act, which also requires hospitals to record the name of the patient’s caregiver, if the patient has one, and to notify the designated caregiver when the patient is to be released from the hospital.

AARP urges all Kansans to contact their legislators and ask them to support the CARE Act. You can sign a petition supporting the CARE Act by visiting action.aarp.org/KScaregivers.You can also share your personal caregiving story at www.iheartcaregivers.org.

 

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