NORWALK, Conn. – Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk-Darien) hosted a well-attended informational forum Monday morning at Kingsway Apartments in Norwalk on pending legislation to improve in-home care for seniors.
“Far too many caregivers are facing the uncertainty of how to best care for a loved one following their discharge from the hospital,” said Duff. “Today, we shared important details with Norwalk residents about the CARE Act, a sensible and necessary step to improving in-home care for seniors.”
The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable) Act was developed by the AARP to help ensure caregivers receive the information and training they need to care for their loved ones at home.
Monday’s event featured a panel of speakers, including Duff; Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling; Marie Allen, executive director of the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging; and Ilene Henshaw, director of State Health and Advocacy at AARP.
“Across the country and right here in Connecticut, there are millions of Americans caring for an aging parent or loved one, helping them to live independently in their own homes,” said Henshaw. “These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and the CARE Act takes some common sense steps that would make the world of difference to them.”
According to the Legislative Commission on Aging, nearly 500,000 Connecticut residents provide care to their loved ones with tasks such as bathing, dressing, finances, transportation and medical care. The total economic impact of this unpaid care is estimated to be $5.8 billion.
Still, many of these caregivers feel unprepared to perform the medical tasks necessary to keep their loved ones out of the hospital and in the community.
The CARE Act requires hospitals to:
- Provide each patient with the opportunity to designate a caregiver upon the patient’s admission to the hospital;
- Notify the designated caregiver if the patient is to be discharged to another facility or back to his or her home, and
- Provide the caregiver with instructions on how to perform medication management, wound care, injections or other medical tasks for the patient when the patient returns home.
In attendance was longtime AARP volunteer Peter Eder of Darien. “Caregiving has gotten more complicated, even as families have more and more demands on their time," said Eder.
"The CARE Act provides more information and training so that family caregivers can continue doing what they do best—caring for their loved ones."
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