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Caregivers- Know Your Rights!

May 1 is Law Day, a holiday to reflect on the important role that laws play in our society. Did you know that there are some laws created specifically to protect caregivers? As caregivers, you give selflessly of yourselves to allow a loved one to age in comfort and dignity. There are government departments that appreciate the work you do and passed acts and supports to help you in your caregiving journey… 

The CARE Act 

Here CARE stands for Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable. Passed in 39 states (including Michigan), the CARE Act helps caregivers work with hospitals to make sure that their loved one gets the best care possible-both in the hospital and at home.  

Hospitals must: 

  • Allow the older adult to designate a caregiver and list that caregiver on their medical records 
  • Share discharge plans with the caregiver (whether it includes a discharge home or to a different facility) 
  • Provide the caregiver with the information needed to safely perform the medical tasks they will be performing at home 

Hospitalization can be a scary time for both loved one and caregiver, but hopefully this program can help alleviate some of the anxiety. For more information, including a printable CARE card, click here

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) 

This federally funded program supports family caregivers by providing a variety of programs and referrals. Services fall into five categories: 

  1. Information about local services 
  2. Assisting caregivers with getting in touch with local services 
  3. Counseling/support groups/caregiver education 
  4. Respite care 
  5. Other services on a case by case basis 

In order to access the NFCSP: 

  • You must be over 18 caring for an adult age 60+ 
  • You must be over 18 caring for an adult of any age living with Alzheimer’s Disease 
  • You must be an older relative (55+) caring for children under age 18, but cannot be their parent 
  • You must be an older relative (55+) caring for an adult with disabilities (age 18-59) 

For more information about this program, click here.  

Visit the Ahead of the Curve Resource Directory for information on Caregiver Services and Legal Services in your community.

Check out our online training

Are you Ahead of the Curve? Take our short training any time to learn more about ways to support older adults in your family or community. You’ll learn to identify when someone might need more help and which resources are available for support.

Explore the Washtenaw County Senior Resource Directory

Our easy to use and regularly updated resource directory is a one-stop guide to older adult services in Washtenaw County.