Hoines: New North Dakota law to help family caregivers

Hoines: New North Dakota law to help family caregivers

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Thanks to AARP and the North Dakota Hospital Association, a new law called the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act is making a difference for family caregivers.

Below is information about the new law, shared with permission from AARP North Dakota:

The CARE Act helps family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.

The law ensures hospitals:

  • Identify and involve the patient's family caregiver throughout the hospital stay.
  • Keep that caregiver informed of their loved one’s discharge plans.
  • Provide education and instruction of aftercare tasks – such as medication management, injections, and wound care – that the family caregiver will perform at home.

More than 62,000 North Dakota residents care for older parents, spouses or other loved ones, helping them to live independently at home. These family caregivers have a huge responsibility, and this new law will make life a little bit easier for them.

Another resource to help caregivers is the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program. It’s an evidence-based educational workshop designed to help family caregivers take better care of themselves and feel more confident in their ability to care for their family members. North Dakota State University Extension offers the PTC program through extensive partnerships with local organizations.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program is available for two audiences: caregivers of adults with chronic conditions and parents of children with special needs.

In the six weekly classes, caregivers develop a wealth of self-care tools to reduce personal stress, change negative self-talk, communicate their needs to family members and health-care or service providers, communicate more effectively in challenging situations, recognize the messages in their emotions, deal with difficult feelings and make tough caregiving decisions.

Beginning March 3 there will be a class for caregivers of adults with chronic conditions. This class will meet every Tuesday for six weeks. To register contact the Morton County NDSU Extension office at 701-667-3340.

Caregivers need to focus on their own needs and desires and practice self-care. Doing so will allow them to continue the important job of caregiving.

Dates to remember

  • Feb. 20 - Pesticide Training, Mandan
  • Feb. 25-26 - Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line, Bismarck
  • March 3 – Powerful Tools for Caregivers (6-week series), Bismarck
  • March 10 – Fit and Strong series begins, Mandan

Vanessa Hoines is an extension agent with NDSU Extension/Morton County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science education and food and nutrition and a master’s degree in child development and family science.

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