Statement from AARP Illinois State Director, Bob Gallo
“More than 2 million Illinoisans are caregivers – their unpaid work is valued at $18.8 billion annually. In growing numbers, Illinoisans and Americans are providing critical, unpaid care for their loved ones – whether it’s an aging parent, an ill spouse or a child or sibling with disabilities. They work long hours without respite and they need support.
This is why Senate Bill 1298, introduced by Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) is necessary legislation recognizing the critical role family caregivers play in keeping their loved ones safe at home after hospitalizations and out of costly institutions.
The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, the first of its kind in Illinois, features three important provisions:
· Identification: The name of the family caregiver is recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital;· Notification: The family caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged home or transferred to another facility; and,
· Training: The hospital shall provide an explanation and instruction of the after-care tasks – such as medication management, injection, wound care, and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home.
A recent statewide poll of Illinois voters 50 and older revealed that people want more support for caregiving so that older adults and people with disabilities can live independently.
Illinois needs the CARE Act because nearly 70 percent of care recipients did not have a home visit by a health care professional after discharge from the hospital, nearly 80 percent of caregivers who provide medical or nursing tasks also manage medications, and almost half do it for loved ones suffering from multiple chronic physical and cognitive conditions.
On behalf of our 1.7 million Illinois members, we salute Sen. Rose and thank him for his leadership on this matter, and urge all members of the Senate to join him as co-sponsors or in support of this critically-needed bill.”