Do you know about the CARE Act? Clue: It's not the ACA (affordable care act).
Before I answer, I hope you can take a moment to set the stage by reading Kathy LaTour's article, CARE for Cancer Caregivers, which opens with a play-like script of Kathy and her engineer husband trying to empty the surgical drain from her recent mastectomy. Don't worry: She's graphic only with the emotions (not the medical aspects).
How could we let this happen? With so many people caregiving without adequate guidance or support, AARP is urging state lawmakers to enact the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act and help family caregivers as their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE Act requires hospitals to:
- Record the name of the family caregiver on the medical record of your loved one.
- Inform the family caregivers when the patient is to be discharged.
- Provide the family caregiver with education and instruction of the medical tasks he or she will need to perform for the patient at home.
"Caregivers of every age are completing complex medical and nursing tasks such as cleaning wounds, giving injections and managing multiple medications. And, they are doing this with little to no training, which can be downright dangerous."
Has your state passed the bill?