To recognize his work to support family caregivers in Indiana, AARP has named Representative Charlie Brown (D-3) a 2015 “Capitol Caregiver.” These elected officials – a bipartisan group of state and governors from across the country – have advanced policies to help family caregivers who are making it possible for their older loved ones to live independently at home—where they want to be.
“AARP is extremely thankful to Representative Brown for being a co-author of the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act, or CARE Act,” said AARP Indiana Interim State Director Sarah Waddle. “This legislative victory is a huge step forward in our efforts to better support the nearly 840,000 unpaid family caregivers in Indiana.”
The CARE Act, House Bill 1265, will improve coordination and communication between the state’s family caregivers, their loved ones and hospitals. The law, which took effect on January 1, 2016, takes some commonsense steps to better support Hoosier family caregivers. Those include: providing the option to record the name of a family caregiver when a loved one is admitted into a hospital; notifying the family caregiver if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home if the patient is not competent to do so; and, providing an explanation and instruction of the medical tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home when the hospital deems it necessary.
As of 2013, roughly 837,000 Hoosiers provide unpaid care for their older loved ones as family caregivers—valued at about $9.5 billion annually. They help with everything from bathing and dressing, to meal preparation and managing finances, and even complex medical duties.
“Family caregiving is one of these rare issues that crosses geographic and political lines,” Waddle said. “This isn’t a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a family issue. And, Representative Brown is definitely one of our strongest champions.”
To learn more about the CARE Act and request a free, informational card, visit action.aarp.org/INCARECard.