The Governor has signed the Louisiana Family Caregiver Act into law, which supporters say will provide critical help for families across the state. Advocacy Director for AARP Louisiana, Andrew Muhl says this will assist the more than 660-thousand family members who help out an aging relative.
“They’re going to get better support to take care of their loved ones. That will ultimately help Louisiana seniors stay at home for longer and live more independently,” Muhl said.
Twenty-two other states have passed similar legislation. Muhl says this measure requires hospitals to offer caregivers instruction and demonstrations of medical tasks. He says the bill also allows a family caregiver to be designated in the patient’s medical records.
“If the caregiver is named, then the hospital will communicate with and help equip the caregiver for the patient’s post-hospital stay,” Muhl said.
It’s estimated this type of unpaid care to family members in our state amount to about $6.47 billion dollars annually. Muhl says several organizations came together to support this bill. He says this will save the state money by reducing costly hospital readmissions, as family caregivers will be able to perform the tasks the patients need.
“That would give the caregiver the opportunity to come to the hospital and have more of that instruction and education to know how to properly perform medical tasks that might be required,” Muhl said.
The unanimously-approved law goes into effect August 1.