Family caregivers and Connecticut’s aging population chalked up a victory last week according to State Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock (R-77), after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the information-providing Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, a press release from House Republicans reported.
Betts and Pavalock, co-sponsors of CARE Act, according to a press release praised colleagues on the unanimous decision in supporting legislation, which provides adequate information to individuals caring for their loved ones following a hospital visit. Under the bill, which now heads to the governor’s desk, hospitals will ask patients if they want to designate a home caregiver, and if they do, provide the caregivers with instructions on medical management, wound care and assorted medical tasks.
“This measure will provide our seniors and caregivers with the support they need in order to provide the best quality of care,” Betts said in the press release. “In order to experience the best outcomes, it is important that everyone be informed of the hospital patient’s discharge planning for home care, as well as the follow-up care, and that is why I proudly voted in support of this bill.”
The bill also allows hospitals to follow up with home caregivers, providing adequate support in the discharging process.
From bathing and dressing to finances and transportation, the state Commission on Aging reports that there are more than 700,000 Connecticut residents who provide daily care for family members. The total economic impact of this unpaid care is estimated to be $5.9 billion.
“The CARE act will go a long way toward improving the care of Connecticut’s aging population,” said Pavalock, a member of the legislature’s Commission on Aging, reported the press release. “By providing follow-up care assistance to our caregivers, we are ensuring a smooth transition from hospital care to the patient’s home, allowing the patient to continue to recovery comfortably at home. This supports hospitals, caregivers, and patients alike through the recovery process.”
Officials from the state public health department said community-based health care – an “integral component in a patient’s recovery” – helps achieve “good patient outcomes,” the news release reported. This proposal will be key in hospital-to-home transition, which, for family caregivers, can be difficult at times.