(Jackson, MS) - Governor Phil Bryant signed The Caregiver Act (SB 2108) today helping Mississippi’s 800,000 family caregivers and their loved ones. The law takes effect on July 1. The Caregiver Act is a commonsense solution that has three important provisions to make an incredible difference for Mississippi’s family caregivers as they take care of their loved ones:
- A hospital patient or patient’s legal guardian has an opportunity to designate a lay caregiver.
- If the hospital patient or patient’s guardian has designated a lay caregiver, the hospital will notify the lay caregiver of the patient’s discharge to home or transfer to another licensed facility.
- The hospital should attempt to consult with the designated lay caregiver to prepare her or him for the patient's aftercare and issue a discharge plan describing the patient’s aftercare needs.
AARP Mississippi works to support family caregivers who help make it possible for older Americans and other loved ones to live independently at home—where they want to be. Thousands of Mississippians help their loved ones live independently at home – keeping them out of costly institutions, such as nursing homes. These family caregivers have big responsibilities that get even more difficult when their loved ones go into the hospital.
The Caregiver Act was one of the recommendations from the Caregivers Task Force. This task force was formed as a result of the 2014 Caregiving Resolution, which was supported by AARP Mississippi. The Caregiving Task Force included Sen. Terry Burton, AARP Mississippi, and nine other governmental and non-profit organizations.
“The Caregiver Act will help thousands of Mississippi caregivers as they support their loved ones in the hospital and after they leave the hospital,” said AARP Mississippi Interim State Director Kelly Cress. “This measure also will help reduce hospital re-admissions. AARP thanks Sen. Terry Burton and Rep. Toby Barker who introduced The Caregiver Act in the Senate and House, respectively.”
The Caregiver Act is another step in AARP Mississippi’s commitment to family caregivers. In 2014, AARP Mississippi successfully fought for passage of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act making it easier for caregivers to assist loved ones across state lines.
For more information, visit www.aarp.org/ms.