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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

WA Lawmakers Asked to Give Helping Hand to Family Caregivers

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Thursday, February 11, 2016   

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington legislators are considering an idea that just became a state law in Oregon and Nevada. The CARE Act outlines rules for hospitals so when patients are discharged, they have a caregiver on record who can help with the transition.

Among older patients, Medicare says one in five is readmitted within 30 days, so getting family members involved in followup care could improve those odds. The CARE Act ensures that hospitals demonstrate anything the caregiver might need to do, which Cathy MacCaul, advocacy director for AARP Washington, says is a key part of the bill.

"The intent of the CARE Act is really to give additional training, so that they know exactly how to care for that loved one, whether it be how to use an inhaler or the proper treatment of a wound," says MacCaul. "You know, to give an injection is not something that we all know how to do."

A new AARP survey of 800 Washington voters age 45 and older found two-thirds of family caregivers help with medication management and a variety of medical tasks. More than 90 percent said they'd support hospitals keeping them informed when a patient is transferred or discharged, and providing demonstrations for followup care.

Sen. Barbara Bailey is the CARE Act's sponsor in the Senate, where it passed in the Health Committee last week. She says the bill has bipartisan support and no organized opposition, and thinks that's partly because the bill has financial as well as health-related benefits.

"It will help people stay out of nursing homes, and obviously cost less for the family and the individual," says Bailey. "But it also will save money for the state."

Today, AARP members are delivering more than 6,000 petitions to legislative leaders asking for their support of the CARE Act.

Similar bills are already law in 18 states and Puerto Rico.


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