Michigan bill would require hospitals to consult with caregivers before discharging patients

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation advancing in Lansing aims to better inform family members who care for patients at home after they’re discharged from the hospital.

The legislation, which won Senate approval last week, would require hospitals to give each patient the opportunity to designate a lay caregiver.

Hospitals would have to attempt to consult with designated caregivers, answer their questions and answers, and issue discharge plans describing patients’ after-care assistance needs.

AARP Michigan says family caregivers are the first line of defense against older Americans being forced from their homes and into nursing homes. Similar legislation has been enacted in 18 states.

The AARP estimates the ratio of Michigan caregivers to elderly persons will fall from 7 to 1 today to about 4 to 1 by 2030.

The bill goes to the House.

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