A new law in Rhode Island will make transitions from the hospital to home a lot smoother for patients and their family caregivers.
The AARP calls the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act “a commonsense solution that supports family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital, and provides for instruction on the medical tasks they will need to perform when their loved one returns home.”
Here are some of the key features of the law:
- A patient can name a designated caregiver, whom the hospital will contact with information about discharge or release
- The hospital must go over the patient’s home care plan with the designated caregiver, and asses the caregiver’s ability to provide that care
- The training or instruction should be given in non-technical language, and in the caregiver’s native language
- The hospital must also provide caregivers with information on community resources and other support options that are available
The AARP has been encouraging states to enact CARE legislation; including Rhode Island, it has now been signed into law or pending in more than a dozen states.
It’s estimated than more than 148,000 Rhode Islanders act as caregivers to elderly or ill family members.