Caregivers Bill May Occupy New Iowa Legislature

An effort will be renewed next month to convince legislators that Iowa needs a law requiring that when patients get out of the hospital, their caregivers receive comprehensive information to help them at home.
Supporters of the Iowa CARE Act are citing a new poll from AARP Iowa that shows 96 percent of current family caregivers in the state believe it’s “extremely” or “very” important that they receive instruction on medical tasks required when a loved one is discharged. The CARE Act did not win support in the last session, making Iowa one of only 13 states without such a law.
AARP state director Brad Anderson called the act a common-sense protection.

The AARP survey polled 800 registered voters across the state age 40 or older. Gov. Kim Reynolds previously has expressed support for the CARE Act. Anderson said the CARE Act would require that hospitals record the name of a patient’s designated family caregiver upon admission, and keep that person informed of any discharge plans.

Anderson said there are 317,000 family caregivers across Iowa who provide care valued at nearly $4 billion a year.

The AARP survey indicated that about one in four Iowa family caregivers did not receive instruction or a live demonstration of follow-up care when their loved one was released from a hospital.