AUSTIN, Texas – A bill filed this week in the Texas Senate would ensure that Texans taking care of a loved one released from a hospital or rehabilitation facility would receive caregiver information and training.Senate Bill 1417 by Texas Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) would guarantee that family caregivers receive consultation in medical tasks, such as how to dress a wound or administer medications, to ensure that they can safely provide care when their loved ones return home.

Known as the CARE Act, the legislation is supported by a broad group of patient-advocacy organizations and hospitals. SB 1417 asks that the name of the family caregiver be recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital or rehabilitation facility. The family caregiver would be notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home. And lastly, the hospital or rehabilitation facility would provide an explanation and instruction of the medical tasks that the family caregivers will perform at home.

“Family caregivers face physical, emotional and financial challenges,” said Senator Taylor. “I’m proud to sponsor commonsense legislation like Senate Bill 1417 to help make their lives a little bit easier.”In Texas, there are more than 3.4 million unpaid family caregivers, many of whom provide complex medical and nursing tasks for their loved ones, and sometimes without adequate explanation or training. Besides bathing and dressing, it’s not unusual for their tasks to include managing multiple medications, providing wound care, overseeing special diets, and operating high-tech medical equipment and monitors. “Texas hospitals have long worked towards reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions after discharge,” said Ted Shaw, Texas Hospital Association president/CEO. “Working with community-based providers, families and patients themselves, Texas hospitals strive to ensure that patients going home after a hospital stay have the care and resources they need to continue healing and avoid another hospital stay. Senate Bill 1417 is another good tool to help patients and caregivers achieve their health and wellness goals after a hospital stay.”AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson said the association and other groups are fighting for the CARE Act because supporting family caregivers is a “top priority for all of us.” Jackson added, “I applaud and appreciate Senator Taylor for offering Senate Bill 1417 for all Texans.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association with more than 38 million members, including 2.3 million Texans age 50 and older.