Elder advocates push for CARE Act to standardize support

If you’ve ever had to take care of a loved one who just got out of the hospital, you may have felt overwhelmed.

That’s why some elder advocates are urging lawmakers to pass the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act.

Baron Inaba is 100 years old and still lives alone in his own home, but his daughter, Eme Kim, checks on him regularly.

“He has fallen several times but he’s done all right,” she said.

Still, she fears a worst-case scenario, like what her sister endured with their mother.

“Your parent is sick catastrophically goes to the hospital, acute care, all that. You are overwhelmed, and I think that was true for my sister,” she said.

That’s why Kim backs legislation for the CARE Act, which a group of elder advocates, including AARP Hawaii, are trying to move through the legislature.

The act would require the hospital to:

  1. Put the caregiver’s contact information in its medical records,
  2. Contact the caregiver in advance so the home can be prepared for the patient, and
  3. Provide the caregiver with enough instruction to ensure the patient is well taken care of.

Hospitals say they already do this, but Gerry Silva, AARP Hawaii president, says the CARE Act would standardize this procedure. “It’s not consistent. That’s our big concern,” he said.

Kim says caregiving is hard enough and she would appreciate having more support and information in case her dad ever has a hospital visit.

Advocates are looking for ways to introduce this legislation.

Click here for more information from AARP Hawaii.

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