Wednesday is the 6-month anniversary of the Illinois Caregiver, Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. This law recognizes the important role that family members and friends (Lay Caregivers) play in post-hospitalization patient recovery.
The CARE Act is more than a nice idea. Research shows that informed Lay Caregivers contribute to improved post-hospitalization health outcomes. One study found that patients with trained Lay Caregivers were over 5 times more likely to complete recommended post-hospital procedures than patients without similar support, a major factor in decreasing the chance of re-admission.
Though AARP is the national sponsor of the CARE Act, the act applies to patients of all ages. Versions vary slightly from state to state, but basic requirements are the same:
Some Illinois hospitals, like Advocate Sherman in Elgin and OSF Healthcare, are very much on board. If you or your loved one is a patient at one of these hospitals, chances are that the lay caregiver will be more involved in discharge planning.
Other hospitals, however, are still working to put the new procedures in place. If you and/or your loved one feel that your post-hospital planning is not receiving the time and attention that it deserves,
PS: Enhance your advocacy skills by attending CareSmart's Advocacy program, Thursday, August 4. Click here for additional information.