Illinois Law Would Officially Recognize Caregivers’ Role in Patients’ Healthcare

If you’ve ever acted as caregiver for a loved one just discharged from a hospital – or if you’ve been on the receiving end of that care – you know how stressful and overwhelming the situation can be for everyone involved.


An Illinois Senate bill that has passed both houses and now awaits the signature of Gov. Bruce Rauner would help ensure that caregivers are more comprehensively recognized as part of a hospital patient’s healthcare team, and treated accordingly.

Senate Bill 1298, sponsored by Sen. Chapin Rose (R), is also known as the CARE act, an acronym for Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable. A May 13 announcement by AARP said the bill was “a major step toward helping to ensure that family caregivers in Illinois have the resources and training they need to care for loved ones at home following a hospital stay.”

The announcement added that Illinois has more than 2.4 million family caregivers.

The key points of the CARE Act are:

-- Identification: The name of a caregiver is included in a patient’s hospital admission records.

-- Notification: When the patient is discharged from the hospital to go home or to another medical facility, the caregiver must be notified.

-- Training: Hospital staff must give the appointed caregiver instructions for and explanations of tasks they’ll need to perform at home, such as wound care, injections, transferring patients from surfaces such as beds and wheelchairs, and managing medications.

In the AARP announcement, Sen. Rose said, “The Illinois CARE Act recognizes the very important role family caregivers play in keeping their loved ones safe at home after being in the hospital. This legislation will improve the quality of care of countless Illinoisans and save the taxpayers money in the process by lowering readmissions to hospital emergency rooms.”

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at