More than one million New Jersey residents are caring for an aging parent or loved one, helping them to live independently in their own homes. Family caregivers have a huge responsibility and their roles are challenging. Tasks include performing medical or nursing tasks for their loved ones with multiple, chronic physical and cognitive conditions, taking care of wounds, and administering medications. Yet despite their critical role, most unpaid caregivers receive little to no training and are never visited by a health care professional after discharge from the hospital. This has to change.
In order to provide caregivers with the resources they need and to help older Americans live independently, we can take some common sense steps that would make a world of difference to them. That’s why AARP supports the CARE Act, which will better support family caregivers as they safely help New Jersey seniors stay at home.
This bill, if passed, would require hospitals or rehabilitation facilities to record the name of the family caregiver when a loved one is admitted into a hospital, notify them when they are discharged, and provide an explanation and live instruction of the medical tasks.
If you care, please support the CARE Act.
Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University