Most folks want to stay at home and family caregiving is becoming the norm rather than the exception. As Ohio’s population ages, it will be more and more critical for family caregivers to be more informed and instructed on after-care tasks so that they have the best chance to keep their loved ones at home.
The Ohio Caregiving Act helps over 1.4 million Ohioans who provide unpaid care to parents, spouses, children or other loved ones. AARP Ohio proposed the Ohio Caregiving Act and the Ohio state legislature unanimously passed it. Ohio is the 35th state to pass a version of the AARP CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act.
More than 70 percent of caregivers provide assistance with complex medical tasks for which no training was ever given. Voters overwhelmingly support the bill, which will require hospitals to explain and demonstrate the medical tasks the family members will be expected to perform for their loved ones at home.
Caregivers will be included, engaged and supported at the time their loved one is discharged from the hospital in order to play a bigger key role in their recovery and medical care.
This seems like a small change but it is critical for family members who are often overwhelmed at the prospect of caring for a loved one at home. The hospital discharge process has been expanded to include the training needed for the home caregivers to master their home-care tasks. Be sure to get all your concerns addressed and practice tasks before leaving. Any questions can be answered up front and the home care can be more precise and productive. Caregivers should have peace of mind, knowing what they have to do and being able to handle the tasks correctly. If for some reason you are not offered this training, be sure to ask for it; it’s the law.
The value of the at-home, unpaid care provided in Ohio is estimated to be as much as $16.5 billion a year. The care provided at home can avoid nursing home and other institutional care and keep people in the community with family where they belong.
Laurie G. Steiner is a member of the law firm of Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd. She is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and the Ohio State Bar Association and an accredited attorney for the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for veteran’s benefits before the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She practices in the areas of elder law, medicaid, VA and disability planning, and estate and trust planning and administration.