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AARP AARP States Health & Wellbeing

Help Aims at Preparing Caregivers

© Istockphoto/lisafx

A new state law aims to better prepare family caregivers when a patient comes home from a hospital stay. The law, which took effect Jan. 1, could also reduce hospital readmissions.

The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver. The hospital must notify the caregiver about discharge plans and show the caregiver how to perform follow-up tasks the patient will need at home.

In New Hampshire, more than 173,000 family caregivers provide unpaid services valued at $2.2 billion per year. They help a parent, spouse or other adult with bathing, dressing, meals and transportation, as well as health care needs such as managing medications.

To request a wallet-sized card that summarizes caregivers’ rights under the law, email Or pick up a card at your local ServiceLink aging and disability resource center. To find a center near you, go to

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