The AARP state office wants Michiganders to know about a new law that aims to improve communication between hospitals and family caregivers.
The Designated Caregiver Act, which takes effect July 12, allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver. The law ensures that hospitals record the caregiver’s name, notify the caregiver when the patient is moved or discharged, and provide instructions for follow-up medical tasks the caregiver will have to perform when the patient comes home.
“This law supports the state’s 1.3 million unpaid caregivers,” said Paula Cunningham, AARP state director. “They are the first line of defense against patients being forced out of their homes and into costly nursing homes or back into the hospital.”
To date, 26 states have passed similar legislation. Michigan’s family caregivers devote 1.2 billion hours annually in unpaid care to loved ones, contributing a total value of $14.5 billion.