Nevadans are now hearing a new question when being admitted for a hospital stay:
“Do you have a family caregiver?”
You will need to know who that caregiver is in the next few days, so please begin to have a conversation with your friends and family now. Beginning January 1, 2015, more than 500,000 Nevada family caregivers and their loved ones will get some much-needed help. The Nevada Legislature passed a new law, known as the Nevada CARE Act, during its 2015 session. The new law strengthens communication between hospitals and family caregivers, ensuring a designated caregiver is notified when a loved one is discharged or transferred, and receives instruction on any after-care required at home – such as managing prescriptions or dressing wounds.
Caption: Governor Sandoval signs Care Act into Law 2015
The law was designed to help caregivers stay informed when a family member or friend is in the hospital, and be better prepared to take care of their loved one at home following the hospital stay. The result should be fewer hospital re-admissions and greater opportunity for older parents, spouses and other loved ones to continue living independently at home.
The CARE Act requires hospitals to do three things:
- Provide you the opportunity to designate a family caregiver
- Inform your caregiver when you are to be discharged to another facility or back home; and
- Provide the caregiver an explanation and demonstration of any medical tasks which will need to be performed at home, such as wound care or medication management.
Whether you currently serve as a caregiver for a family member or friend, or just want to be better prepared in the event of your own hospital stay, you should be aware of your rights under the CARE Act. Have a family discussion about who you would designate as your caregiver, and carry that person’s name and contact information with you. Keep in mind that your caregiver will not necessarily be the same person as your legal next of kin, especially if your family members don’t live in your community.
For convenience, AARP Nevada offers a free CARE Act card you can keep in your wallet, where you can list the name of your caregiver. That way you’ll have this important information available when you need it most. The card is available to download and print at home at
The Caregiver’s Journal recognizes that uncomfortable conversations about potential need for assistance, medical issues and other life events can be difficult to bring up. However, being proactive and knowledgeable is always a better option than trying to play “catch up” when life happens. To help your caregiver keep track of the information they will need to care for you, please consider purchasing a copy of The Caregivers Journal at by clicking here.
For more resources for caregivers, visit our website at www.the-caregivers-journal.com.