AARP Pushing for Bill Giving Family Caregivers More Rights

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The group AARP is urging state lawmakers to include a bill to better help family caregivers in the state. The Iowa Care Act did not make it through the second funnel, but advocates hope it gets attached to another budget bill this session.

The bill allows Iowans to designate a family member as a caregiver when they are admitted to the hospital. That would require hospitals to notify the caregiver when the patient is released.

They also have the opportunity to see demonstrations and hear instructions of the kind of care their loved ones will need at home.

“Our caregivers say they wouldn’t have it any other way, but being a family caregiver puts an enormous stress on individuals,” said Kent Sovern, state director of AARP of Iowa. “It’s a huge responsibility, and all too often these family caregivers are left in the dark, especially when it comes to the medical care that they need to provide for their loved ones.”

AARP says more than 317,000 Iowans are unpaid family caregivers.

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