Capable Caregiver Program
Know your rights: Designate a family caregiver
AARP, more than 771,000 Maryland residents are caring for an older parent or
other loved one, helping them to live independently at home. The responsibilities
of such caregivers are enormous, and they can be made burdensome when
caregivers can't get the information they need to help their loved ones.
The Maryland CARE Act has helped with that. This law requires hospitals
to make reasonable attempts to keep designated caregivers informed about
discharge plans and prepare the caregiver for follow-up care needed at
home. The new law dovetails nicely with Atlantic General's efforts
to keep discharged patients on the path to health after they leave the hospital.
Designation of a caregier does not obligate him/her to perform any aftercare
for the patient. If designated, the hospital must notify the caregiver
regarding the discharge or transfer or the patient as soon as practicable.
We believe that both the patient and his or her primary caregiver are critical
members of the healthcare team. Much of the work we're doing includes
making sure there are no financial or social barriers that prevent patients
from following the doctor's orders, and also educating patients and
their families -- in language they understand -- about the importance
of keeping follow up appointments with their physicians, following the
discharge instructions and taking medications as prescribed. The patient
must give written consent before any medical information can be released
to the caregiver.
For more information on caregivers visit the