The Kentucky Family Caregivers Act, which requires hospitals to recognize the vital role of caregivers when loved ones are admitted to a hospital and after discharge by providing caregivers with resources, training and information to ensure that patients’ discharge plans are carried out successfully, was signed into law by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on March 21.
The new law will benefit caregivers and their loved ones as well as hospitals by helping to reduce hospital readmissions.
There are an estimated 650-thousand family caregivers in Kentucky, and according to AARP those caregivers save the state around $7 billion a year.
According to a 2015 AARP survey, more than two-thirds of care recipients did not have a home visit by a health-care professional after discharge from the hospital. And, many family caregivers said they received little or no training to perform care tasks.
“Kentucky’s elected officials worked together on behalf of our state’s most passionate unpaid workers, family caregivers,” said Charlotte Whittaker, AARP Kentucky State President.
“The new law is designed to provide Kentuckians with the help they need as they face one of life’s most difficult and yet fulfilling challenges- caring for their loved ones,” continued Whittaker. “Family caregivers give so much of their time doing all they can to help others. The Kentucky Family Caregivers Act is an important way to help them. We salute the Governor and the Kentucky state legislature for the bipartisan support shown for family caregivers in the passage and signing of this bill into law.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 129, was passed unanimously by the Senate and the House.