Sen. Bailey Makes Bipartisan List of “Capitol Caregivers”

AARP Honors State Elected Officials for Helping Family Caregivers

Washington – To recognize their work to support family caregivers in Washington State, AARP has named Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Barbara Bailey (R-10) and Representative Steve Tharinger (D-24) as 2016 “Capitol Caregivers,” a bipartisan group of elected officials representing more than 23 states.  These leaders have championed policies to help family caregivers who are making it possible for older Washingtonians to live independently in their homes and communities—where they want to be.

“AARP thanks Governor Inslee, Senator Bailey and Representative Tharinger for championing the ‘CARE Act’ this year,” said Mike Tucker, state president of AARP, which serves more than 958,000 members age 50 and older in Washington. “They provided integral leadership to pass the new law this year to help make the big responsibilities of family caregivers in Washington a little bit easier.”

The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act supports family caregivers when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home.  The new law includes three provisions:

• The name of the family caregiver is recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital;
• The family caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home; and,
• The facility must provide instruction or training on the aftercare tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care, and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home.

AARP President Mike Tucker (center) presents the 2016 Capitol Caregivers award to Senator Barbara Bailey (left) and Representative Steve Tharinger (right).

“Family caregiving is a labor of love that can often be stressful, exhausting or overwhelming. This new law will help more than 800,000 family caregivers in the state who help loved ones live independently in their own homes,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “This is an issue that impacts families all over our state, if you are not a caregiver now, chances are you once were or will be.”

“Family caregivers are vital to helping seniors age in their homes and communities,” said Representative Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim. “We should do everything we can to make their job easier by giving them respite, training and information about services.”

“The CARE Act provides needed support to family caregivers who play a critical role in helping our aging population,” said Sen. Barbara Bailey, R- Oak Harbor. “It is easy to understand why Washingtonians so eagerly supported this legislation to empower families at these critical times in their lives.”

“The CARE Act is just a first step to providing some much needed help for family caregivers,” said Tucker. “AARP will continue to advocate for Washington’s family caregivers and their loved ones this coming session and beyond.”