CARE Act is a major step in the right direction as more states are adopting laws to help family caregivers; currently, the “red” states and territories are now in compliance. This act, CARE: (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act), requires hospitals to ask a patient if he or she wishes to name a family caregiver which is then officially included on the patient’s medical record enabling easy access to inform the caregiver of the patient’s discharge. For me, this last requirement is essential for it provides education and instructions on the medical or nursing tasks that will be needed to perform at home by the caregiver.
From the AARP website: “Almost half of the 40 million family caregivers in America have performed medical or nursing tasks for their loved ones.
These tasks include:
- Managing multiple medications
- Providing wound care
- Managing special diets
- Giving injections
- Operating monitors or other specialized medical equipment
When a care receiver is discharged from the hospital, unlike in the past, patients return home earlier and typically need more hands-on nursing care and help. For some care partners, this reality is so out of their comfort zone and may be frightening but there is help for you.
The information on the AARP website is invaluable; take a moment to review many of the concerns you might experience when your care receiver needs more than a cup of tea.