New 'CARE' Act empowers lay caregivers in Oklahoma

Sarah Stewart of the Senior Law Resource Center Inc. explains the new Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act helps caregivers in Oklahoma.
Oklahoman Published: August 28, 2014

Q&A with Sarah Stewart

New ‘CARE’ Act empowers lay caregivers in assisting patients

Q: The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act) was passed by the Oklahoma Legislature earlier this year and takes effect Nov. 1. What does it do?

A: The law allows a patient at a hospital, or similar facility, or the guardian of a patient to name a lay caregiver 18 or older to work with hospital personnel and provide aftercare for the patient after his/her release. The act shouldn’t interfere with the rights of those legally chosen to make health care decisions, such as a health care proxy in an advance directive or an attorney in fact in a durable power of attorney.

Q: What is aftercare?

A: Aftercare means any care after the patient’s discharge, related to the patient’s condition that caused hospitalization, and not requiring a licensed caregiver. For instance, picking up prescriptions would be a task a lay caregiver could do.

Q: Can a lay caregiver be paid by the government?

A: The act prohibits the use of state and federal funds to pay a lay caregiver for aftercare at the patient’s home.


by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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