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New Jersey Caregivers to State Politicians: Help Us Help Our Loved Ones

Jeff Abamo

Thursday, June 19, 2014 • 10:10am

PRINCETON, NJ - The AARP released the results of a recently commissioned poll of 1,000 New Jersey residents ages 40 and older on the topic of caregiving, and specifically, on their support for two current bills which would make life easier for NJ family caregivers as well as improve quality of care for those they care for. Results showed that, without regard to political affiliation, caregivers say they need help.

In fact, more than 85 percent – Democrats and Republicans alike – support implementation of The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act. And when each individual component of The CARE Act is examined, the  numbers are even more staggering. An overwhelming 96 percent of New Jersey residents support requiring hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to demonstrate medical tasks to caregivers, 92 percent support requiring hospitals to keep caregivers informed of major decisions. 87 percent support requiring hospitals and health care facilities to record a caregiver’s information upon admission and then follow up.

More than half of New Jerseyans have cared for a loved one – in the past or currently – when basic tasks become challenging due to aging, illness or disability. Daily activities that New Jersey caregivers provide include shopping, transportation, household chores, medication and finance management, medical tasks, and other health care issues. The survey shows that if New Jersey residents needed to receive care, 78 percent said that continuing to live at home with assistance would be their preference.

The CARE Act, which is supported by AARP and Senators Joe Vitale, Linda Greenstein, and Senate President Steve Sweeney, has already passed in the New Jersey Assembly, where Speaker Vincent Prieto was the prime sponsor, and there is optimism that the New Jersey Senate will pass the bill soon.

AARP New Jersey State President Dave Mollen says that The CARE Act is critically important  for NJ caregivers and those they care about.

“The bill requires hospitals to recognize the vital role of caregivers and provide them with the training, resources, and information they need as their loved ones transition home after being discharged from the hospital. Caregivers need help as they face one of the hardest yet most rewarding challenges caring for their loved ones.”

Mollen continued, “This bill represents a win-win for caregivers who will be trained to give the best care they can to their loved ones and for hospitals, which will see fewer readmissions due to complications that may have been prevented with adequate caregiver training.”

 

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