Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 21, 2018 


Giuliani now says the Mueller probe into whether President Trump obstructed the Russian collusion inquiry will end by September. Also on the rundown: Healthcare providers gear up as Trump's new "Gag Rule" targets Planned Parenthood; and some perspective on the administration’s push for Arctic oil.

Daily Newscasts

Greater Care, Support Sought for Family Caregivers

The economic value of family caregivers in Iowa approaches $4 billion. The CARE Act would provide education and support for caregivers when a family member is hospitalized. (AARP.org)
The economic value of family caregivers in Iowa approaches $4 billion. The CARE Act would provide education and support for caregivers when a family member is hospitalized. (AARP.org)
May 25, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa - About 317,000 Iowans are family caregivers looking after loved ones at home who can't care for themselves. According to AARP, the trend continues to grow as the lengths of stays in hospitals continue to decrease.

Elaine Ryan, AARP vice president for state advocacy and strategy integration, is to speak today at the Governor's Conference on Aging and Disabilities.

"It used to be that the average hospital length of stay was maybe three, five days, maybe even a week," she said. "Now it might be a few days, and then families are asked to care for their loved ones at home."

Those under the care of family members often are part of the aging population, but Ryan said they're increasingly veterans returning from service.

"When you think about it, they might be returning in their 20s and that caregiving journey could be 40 or 50 years," she said. "So, it's a new phenomenon and a growing one across the country and in Iowa."

At the conference, Ryan is to speak about the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act. She said it would help provide instructions for the 65 percent of Iowa family caregivers who have to carry out complex medical tasks at home.

"Those kinds of tasks would have been performed by medical professionals 10 years ago," she said, "and now you have families on the front line of health care."

She also said the CARE Act would ensure more adequate lead time for families whose loved ones are about to be sent home.

Nationally, according to AARP, one in six people on Medicare who leaves a hospital returns in 30 days. Ryan said giving family caregivers the support and information they need would greatly help reduce those numbers.

"We hope that the CARE Act could help to address that cycling in and out of the hospital," she said, "so that there's some stability and peace of mind the family caregivers can care for their loved ones safely at home."

The CARE Act, has been introduced as House Study Bill 564 and Senate File 465. It has advanced in both the Iowa House and Senate, which currently are in recess, but has yet to be passed.

Bob Kessler, Public News Service - IA