More than 317,000 Iowans care for their parents, spouses, and other loved ones so they can live safely and independently at home — as opposed to costly institutional care. They help with the everyday necessities of life: bathing and dressing, meal preparation, transportation; and, the majority manages medical tasks and oversees medications for their loved ones, all without receiving instruction or training.

The 2018 Iowa CARE Act, a no-cost, commonsense step to support family caregivers is currently being considered by state lawmakers. If signed into law, this bill would require hospitals to record the name of the patient’s designated family caregiver upon admission and keep that caregiver informed of their loved one’s discharge plans. It also helps make sure that family caregivers have the instruction they need to safely care for their loved ones when they come home from the hospital.

Iowa is one of only 14 states that do not have a similar law in place.

I urge you to contact your state lawmakers and ask them to support the 2018 Iowa CARE Act to help Iowa’s caregiving families today.

Susan Olson, Ames