Hospital Discharge Instructions for Caregivers
You are being discharged from a New York hospital after surgery. How do you designate your daughter to be your caregiver when you return home to recuperate? What if your daughter needs instructions on how to care for you?
The Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable (CARE) Act amended the New York Public Health Law to require that hospitals allow patients to formally designate a caregiver (such as a relative, partner, friend or neighbor) before they leave the hospital or are transferred to another facility . Hospitals are to provide the caregiver with instruction or training on how to perform tasks for the patient at home, such as changing bandages or administering medication . However, patients are not required to designate caregivers and caregivers are not obligated to perform after-care tasks for patients .
The patient must consent to disclose his or her health information to the caregiver . If the patient designates a CARE Act caregiver, the hospital must:
(a)include the name and contact information of the caregiver in the patient’s discharge plan;
(b)attempt to notify the caregiver of the patient’s transfer to another health care facility;
(c)attempt to contact the caregiver prior to a patient’s discharge to his or her residence so that the caregiver can provide after-care assistance in accordance with the hospital’s instructions to the caregiver;
(d) as soon as possible prior (and if possible, 24 hours prior) to the patient’s discharge consult with the identified caregiver along with the patient regarding the patient’s after-care needs at his or her residence; and
(e) offer caregivers written or verbal instruction in all after-care tasks, taking into account the capabilities and limitations of the caregiver for patients being discharged to their home.
To be certain that your family members have access to your medical information should you become incapacitated, execute a health care proxy and living will.