Sen. Witkos Applauds Senate Passage of CARE Act

May 8, 2015

Yesterday, in a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a bill that provides support to individuals who care for a loved one at home.

A co-sponsor of the bill, state Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) praised passage of Senate Bill 290, the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act.

Kevin Witkos

“Home caregivers are incredible individuals who give of themselves to give to others. Caring for a loved one at home is a challenge that many people face bravely and with great strength,” said Senator Witkos. “This legislation will make sure caregivers receive the information they need before they take a loved one home from the hospital or medical facility to care for them at home. By providing more information to caregivers, we can take away some of the stress they often face when learning how to care for someone.”

The Act would require hospitals to:
1) provide each patient with the opportunity to designate a caregiver upon the patient’s admission to the hospital;
2) notify the designated caregiver if the patient is to be discharged to another facility or back to his or her home, and;
3) provide the caregiver with instructions on how to perform medication management, wound care, injections or other medical tasks for the patient when the patient returns home.

According to the Legislative Commission on Aging, there are more than 500,000 Connecticut residents who provide care every day to their loved with tasks such as bathing, dressing, finances, transportation, and medical care. The total economic impact of this unpaid care is estimated to be $5.8 billion.

While the issue of providing care to loved ones runs across the lifespan, AARP Connecticut was a major backer of the bill.

Nora Duncan, director of AARP Connecticut, said, “AARP appreciates the bi-partisan support and commends the leadership of the State Senate in bringing The CARE Act to a vote. Senate Bill Number 290 is a no-cost, common-sense solution that will ensure Connecticut’s more than 700,000 family caregivers receive the support and recognition they deserve. We look forward to a similar action in the House.”

Nationally, according to AARP:

  • Most care recipients (69 percent) did not have a home visit by a health care professional after discharge from the hospital.
  • Almost half (46 percent) of family caregivers perform medical or nursing tasks for their loved ones with multiple chronic physical and cognitive conditions.
  • Three out of four (78 percent) who provide these medical or nursing tasks manage medications, including administering intravenous fluids and injections.
  • Most family caregivers report that they received little or no training to perform these tasks.