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New Law Aims to Make Family Caregiving Easier

Home health care advocates are trying to get the word out about a new law aimed at helping family caregivers provide better treatment to their relatives.

The Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable – or CARE Act – was signed by Governor Pence at the end of this year’s session.

Under the law, patients who are admitted to a hospital must be given the option to designate a family caregiver. If they do, hospitals must then keep the caregiver in the loop about patient transfers and explain things like medication management when it’s time for the patient to go home.

AARP – the interest group that advocates for people over 50 – pushed the legislature to pass the measure this year as a way of helping ensure patients receive better treatment from family once they’re discharged.

Katie Moreau with AARP of Indiana says family caregivers are the backbone of long-term care in Indiana, putting in more than $9 billion worth of work per year.

“If we didn’t have folks doing this, a lot of that bill would fall to the state in terms of Medicaid and the cost of providing that care through a paid outlet,” Moreau said.

The CARE Act will take effect January 1st, 2016.