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Caregivers Get More Support

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A new state law, which took effect Oct. 15, aims to help family caregivers when a loved one comes home from a hospital stay.

The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act allows every patient admitted to a hospital in Maine to designate a family caregiver. Hospital staff must notify the caregiver when the patient is admitted, and prior to discharge, must instruct the caregiver how to perform medical tasks needed at home, such as managing medications or dressing wounds.

An estimated 178,000 Mainers serve as family caregivers, providing about 165 million hours of unpaid care annually with an economic value of $2.22 billion, according to a study by the AARP Public Policy Institute.

If you have questions or comments about the CARE Act, email the AARP state office at or call 866-554-5380 toll-free.

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